As a person grows older, it is essential that they feel supported and connected to those around them. However, feeling connected can be challenging for those who live alone, especially veterans, as they may not have many opportunities to make friends and engage in social activities. One way to keep elderly veterans social and engaged is by making sure they live in active communities of their peers.
Veterans Living in Communities are Happier
Elders and veterans who live at home often feel isolated and lonely even if they have family that visits often. However, elders who live in residential communities with their peers are happier, healthier, and less lonely. Why is this? A community specifically designed for the disabled, aging, and veterans is set up to promote friendship, independence, health, and happiness.
Social Activities are Key to Health and Happiness
Anyone under the impression that veteran and elder communities are boring has never lived in one. Each assisted living residence hires an activities director to schedule activities and outings for those who live there. The residence will post a schedule in a public place, on the website, or pass out flyers to the residents to keep everyone up to date on upcoming activities and outings.
An Assortment of Activities
What types of activities can a person expect in these communities? Of course, activities will vary based on the interests and abilities of those who live there. Still, they can include game nights, bingo, movie nights, cooking classes, craft classes, book clubs, gardening, senior yoga, chair tai chi, dances, veteran gatherings, and more. In addition, it’s common for these residential communities to regularly schedule field trips to places like local stores, casinos, libraries, museums, and more.
Giving Veterans Opportunities to Connect
Why are activities and social gatherings important for veterans? Each activity is an opportunity for the veteran to make new friends and connect with other residents. Often, veterans live in these communities, and, when they meet others with similar backgrounds, they can share stories of their service, military, and life experiences. The more friends a veteran has the less likely they are to feel isolated and depressed.
Peace of Mind for the Family
When veterans or elders live alone, their families may worry that their daily needs are not being met. This is especially true when the loved one has dementia, memory issues, or a mental or physical disability. The great news is that the family knows that their loved one is being well cared for with the loved one living in one of these communities. Staff checks on the community residents regularly and makes sure that all residents have everything they need.
For the Veteran With Memory Issues
If the veteran or elder has memory issues, the community will offer memory care services. Communities for people with memory issues and dementia are set up with goals to reduce stress for the resident. These communities are safe and structured environments with set routines so that the veteran knows what to expect each day. The staff will assist the resident with any tasks needed, including:
- Tidying up
- Oral hygiene
People with memory problems commonly have histories of wandering off. The doors, elevators, or outdoor spaces may have alarms or require a keycode to keep the resident safe. Each of these communities is set up differently, so it is essential to ask about safety measures when touring the residence.
A Loving and Supportive Environment for Veterans
While some veterans may be mentally sharp and physically fit, this isn’t always the case. The staff in these communities are loving, patient, caring, and ready to assist residents with their daily needs. For example, when a new resident moves in, the caregivers will make an individualized plan of care for the resident that includes a list of any tasks or chores the resident may need help with. These intake assessments guarantee that the elder or veteran receives all of the services and individual support needed to succeed in their daily lives.
Schedule a Tour to Check the Residence Out
The best way to see if the residence is a place that will positively impact the veteran’s life is to schedule a tour and see the location in person. These communities love to give tours, show off their activity schedules, explain visitor policies, and more. Seeing the residence in person is also a great way to scope out the people living there. If the veteran discovers that many veterans are currently residing at the location during the tour, they will likely feel more relaxed about moving in.