For some older veterans, the VA offers an outstanding service for those who are in need of day care. Not all families have the time or ability to give elderly veterans the daily medical and social care that they need. The VA’s program is designed to help this type of care become more affordable.
Unfortunately, the VA had to cut down on the funding for this program, causing Adult Care Services (ACS) to face cuts of its own. The Prescott, Arizona adult day facility was the first organization of its kind to be chosen by the VA to offer these types of services to veterans, but ACS was about to have to start turning some of these veterans away. DVNF, seeing the difficulty this would cause many families, approved a grant of $8,000 to Adult Care Services to help negate the effect of the looming cuts
“It is never easy to tell families that their Adult Day Health benefit has been cut by the VA. Veterans count on our services for much needed socialization, activities, health monitoring, and good nutritious meals,” said Stephen Whisenhunt, Director of Development for Adult Care Services. “Family caregivers also count on us for much needed respite care.
“One of our veterans had benefited greatly from the socialization and friendships at the center after losing his wife of 62 years. He lives in his granddaughter’s busy and hectic home where she says that she could not have moved her grandfather in if not for the care that the centers provide him during the day,” he said. “Without the generous contribution from organizations like the DVNF, families would face hardship and veterans would be placed in residential settings far too prematurely.”
Whisenhunt also told DVNF about another veteran that this grant affected. “One beneficiary of this grant not only suffers severe dementia, but also lung cancer. His wife counts on his days at the center not only for his care, but so that she can complete her college degree. The recent VA cuts nearly forced her to drop out of school in order to care for her veteran husband.”
Though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have certainly been at the forefront of the public’s attention, it is extremely important to remember these veterans who are much older. With each new generation of veteran, many in past generations tend to be forgotten, and this should not happen. Though some may think that older veterans may not need prolonged care, this is simply not the case, especially given all that they have done for our country.
Part of DVNF’s mission is to provide services to underserved groups of veterans. It is unfortunate that this particularly vulnerable group has to suffer the burden of funding cuts, but we are hopeful that this grant to Adult Care Services will help them continue these essential services to our veterans. We also want to thank ACS for doing so much to help our older veterans. What they do on a daily basis with such limited funding is truly incredible and should not go unnoticed.