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About this blog: I developed a special interest in helping seniors with their challenges and transitions when my dad had a stroke and I helped him through all the various stages of downsizing, packing, moving and finding an assisted living communi...  (More)

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Veterans Day - Reach Out

Uploaded: Nov 11, 2015
Everyone knows it's Veterans Day today (big assumption?), and most people know at least one person who was in the military. Whether you are pro-war, anti-war, pro-this-war-but not-that-war, or a war profiteer (check your mutual funds basket or your employer's end users), today would be a good day to pick up the phone and wish someone a "Happy Veterans Day" (the best greeting I could come up with.) And if the vet is a senior and has a living situation where he/she can't afford to eat healthy foods, go to the doctor when needed, is isolated in their small rented apt or rented room, and that veteran served at least one day during a combat era ie. WWII, Korea, Viet Nam etc (does not have to have served in a combat zone - could have been stationed stateside or in Japan for example), the vet may be eligible for a seldom-accessed program provided by the VA: The Aid & Attendence Program. This program provides low income vets with money to cover or help them pay for much of the costs of living in an assisted living community provided they need assistance with all or some of the activities of daily living (ADLs) ie. getting dressed, taking medication, preparing meals...This program is for needy veterans, as well as their surviving spouses. It's not something the VA will make it easy for someone to qualify for. When I worked at a middle-class retirement community in Santa Clara we helped vets connect with an intermediary who could pre-qualify the vet and helped with all the paperwork, which in itself can be discouraging. Caution: some intermediaries are interested in moving assets into a trust to potentially help a vet qualify for the program, and have been found to be most interested in their fees to do this. No one can charge you to counsel and help you apply for this program.)
So if you know a senior Vet who lives in Palo Alto, for example, there's a good chance they won't qualify due to exceeding the income/asset levels. If that's the case, think about a vet in another part of the country who you know who might need some help and could benefit from the A&A program, and just ask them if they know about it. If the only vet you know is your dad from WWII and he's fairly well off, ask him if he can think of a vet, maybe some guy he sees at McDonalds buying a senior cup of coffee, and ask him to reach out to that guy. If 1000 people read this post, 1000 vets in need could be made aware of this program. Please pass it on. And Happy Veterans Day.
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Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School,
on Nov 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

I know today is a holiday and the kids are off school. But I suspect most of them are sleeping in, playing video games or catching up on homework.

I think it would make a lot more sense for the kids to be in school and spending some time learning about the history. Learning about Armistace Day. Learning about the wars that are being remembered today. Learning about the suffering that has taken place in the world for the last 100 years or so. Learning about those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. Learning about those that came back severely injured. Learning about those families who have been forever changed as a result of war. Learning that it is not just American veterans who fought in the major wars. Learning that worldwide, today is a day of remembrance, thanks and gratitude. They could be bringing in and doing a "show & tell" of family history with emphasis on those who fought and their stories, whether they came home or not.

Many are home alone as parents have to work. It would be much more meaningful imo if they could learn instead of having a day off to do whatever.

Posted by Max Greenberg, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Nov 11, 2015 at 12:24 pm

Max Greenberg is a registered user.

Paly Parent - thank you for your comment. I share your sentiments. There is a lot to be learned, and shared around this holiday and opportunities are being missed. I remember a few years ago when my WWII veteran dad was a resident at an assisted living community back East, they had a Veterans Day celebration for all of the vets, including many from the former Soviet Union. It was a very heart-warming event and helped to break through the language barriers that existed between them.

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