If your loved one is a military veteran, they are entitled to medical care. This care is provided by the Veterans Association (VA). The VA also offers living centers to elderly veterans. These living centers are like nursing homes but are just for veterans. Some veterans appreciate having this option. Instead of a general care facility, your loved one could enjoy services for veterans. Your loved one also might like living with other veterans. These facilities, like nursing homes, try to prevent neglect and abuse. Proper precautions can stop neglect and abuse. But, these issues can still occur in VA facilities. Neglect and abuse can be particularly scarring for veterans who are already emotionally fragile. Experiences while on active duty could lead to long-term issues.
Elderly Veteran Benefits
There are two programs that seek to assist elderly veterans. The first is the housebound program. This program seeks to assist elderly veterans that are confined due to disability. The program increases their monthly pension. The other program is the aid and assistance program. This program also increases a veteran’s monthly pension based on a condition such as:
- Being bedridden.
- Needing help with daily tasks.
- Being a nursing home patient.
- Eyesight limited to 5/200.
Abuse and Elderly Veterans
There are various types of veteran abuse that can occur in the VA live in facilities. They are like nursing home neglect and abuse scenarios. All types of mental and physical abuse to a veteran can lower their quality of life. In extreme cases result in death.
Substance abuse is quite common in veterans. Many get prescribed medications for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Caregivers could overmedicate veterans in hopes of getting away with neglect or abuse. Also, mental abuse may be particularly damaging to a veteran. Some veterans are already facing difficult emotional issues.
Types of Abuse Veterans Face
Veterans may be physically disabled due to injuries suffered during combat. This may leave a veteran physically vulnerable. They may also be emotionally traumatized. That could make them a target for emotional abuse. Veterans may have a fear of abandonment, making them less likely to reach out for help. Veterans who get affected by post traumatic stress disorder may often hallucinate. Abusers may take advantage of this. They think that nobody will believe your loved one because of their disorder. PTSD may also make veterans violent or more likely to become angry and lash out. Caregivers may believe that they are doing the right thing by fighting back. In reality, they only end up harming the veteran. PTSD may make it difficult for veterans to convey what happened to them. This can make an investigation particularly difficult. Make sure that staff members in the facility know how to treat veterans.
Veterans can also face financial abuse. Veteran’s pensions might make them a target for their caretakers, friends or family. People may try to bully the veteran into giving money to them. This might happen if they are in a position of power over the veteran.
There are many organizations dedicated to preventing veteran abuse. But, sometimes situations of financial abuse may go undetected. If you suspect that your loved one is getting abused at the VA, it is a good idea to contact an attorney for legal advice. If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, you should contact the police.