Being a Caregiver for a Veteran: Staying Active and Entertained

Sometimes, being a caregiver for a veteran senior can be a bit dull. Many times, in home care providers are in the veteran’s home for eight hours, but they are not active for the full eight hours. Many elderly veteran patients who live at home might sleep throughout the day or watch television or read to themselves. This can leave the caregiver with a long day, waiting for things to happen. Fortunately, there are many things that in home care providers can do to keep themselves busy and enjoy their time with their elderly patients.

One of the most rewarding activities that in home care providers can do is to read to their veteran clients. Many elderly adults have difficulty reading because they have failing eyesight. When caregivers read aloud, both the elderly client and the caregiver are able to enjoy the same book. This gives them something interesting to discuss both during and after the book. When the book is finished, they can watch the movie together, too. There are also online book clubs that the caregiver and elderly patient can get involved in so they can communicate with other people who have also read the book.

Another rewarding experience for an in home care provider and an elderly patient is to do scrapbooking together. This may not be as easy as reading a book together; but for caregivers who know a bit about scrapbooking, it can be a great way for elderly patients to record photos and experiences for their children and grandchildren. Elderly patients can talk and the caregiver can record the experience in an attractive way.

If scrapbooking is not it, caregivers can also help record their patients’ stories. This could be done with a tape recorder or by simply writing as the patient speaks. Telling stories is one of the most interesting forms of communication and caregivers are often the people who spend the most time with seniors who have great stories to tell. Hearing stories and writing them down can make caregivers feel like they have had an important role in the lives of their patients’ families, too.

Each in home care provider should take time to get to know the things that their patients love to do. If a patient loves to watch baseball, then it is important to help that person watch baseball and follow statistics. If a patient loves to listen to music, then caregivers should bring in new music that the patient will enjoy. Many senior citizens are not technologically savvy, so caregivers should use their knowledge of technology to bring in new experiences for their patients. Many seniors appreciate learning about technology because it gives an avenue to communicate with their friends and family members. Caregivers can teach their patients to use Facebook, which can be very fun for elderly patients to use.

Sharing time with elderly veteran clients makes the day of the caregiver go much faster and makes it more enjoyable for the patient, too.

For more information on the VA Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit that helps senior veterans pay for in-home care services, or if you have a general question about VA Home Care, please don’t hesitate to call Veterans Home Care at 888-314-6075.

Bonnie Laiderman, CEO

Bonnie Laiderman, founder and president of Veterans Home Care®, has helped more than 16,000 veterans and their spouses receive in-home care through the unique VetAssist® Program. Started in 2003 as a one-woman operation, Bonnie has overseen the growth of the company to become one of the largest women-owned companies in the St. Louis Metro Region. Veterans Home Care has also earned the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for Ethics and Inc. 5000 award of fastest growing companies six times. Now with offices coast-to-coast, Veterans Home Care serves our veterans in 44 states throughout the country.