The holidays mean different things to different people. They’re a time to gather with friends and family and create treasured memories while carrying out timeless rituals. But for families with an aging or ill veteran, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be difficult to manage. As one of the leading advocates for the care of our aging veterans, Patriot Angels is making a list of ways you can better care for the veterans this holiday season. And yes, we checked it twice.

Take Time To Share Favorite Memories

As you celebrate with your friends and family, ask everyone to share a favorite holiday memory. Veterans may think fondly of their time in the service, and the way they experienced a holiday while serving may be quite different from how you do every year. This is a great chance to reflect on their service, and thank them for what they did.

Connect With Other Veterans

It’s not uncommon for local veterans organizations to host holiday galas or get-togethers. If your veteran is able, bringing them to one of these events gives them an opportunity to connect with others who have shared in their experiences and who they can relate to. The camaraderie they found in the military is reflected in these active veterans organizations.

Make Time For Your Veteran

Especially for those who are housebound, or ailing, making time for them, and prioritizing a visit to see them can have a remarkable effect on their health. Spending time with loved ones can lift spirits, improve moods, and even help to speed up the recovery process. Even a brief visit tells your veteran that you’re thinking of them and still love them. It’s easy to feel forgotten or left out during the holidays, and that can leave a lasting emotional scar. You can prevent that from happening even by doing something as simple as making a phone call.

Turn A Gift Into A Shared Experience

While gift giving is a notable marker of the holiday season, depending on the health of your veteran, it may not be an appropriate choice. Instead of getting them new golf clubs, or a sweater, help them be a part of a shared experience. Help them make decorations for their home. Make a festive holiday meal together. Take a trip into town if possible and go look at the holiday lights.

Make Sure They’re Comfortable

Maintaining the comfort of your aging or ailing veteran is difficult no matter the time of year. Fortunately, you can find year-round assistance through a variety of veteran service programs. In particular, the VA Aid and Attendance Pension is set up to help veterans and their families offset the costs of long-term or in-home medical care. The funds can be used to ensure that your veteran has a constant caretaker, even during the holiday season.
If you’re struggling to apply for the Aid and Attendance Pension, we’re here to help. Patriot Angels is committed to connecting veterans and their families with the resources they need in order to live in comfort and joy. Contact us today to find out more.