Jake served in the Army during the Korean War. Some of the things that he witnessed when he was fighting on foreign soil are things that he never talked about with anyone, not even the woman he met when he returned and eventually married. Like many young men who fight on the front lines of the battlefield, there are emotional and psychological scars that can be deep and can cause them to close certain emotional compartments off from everyone else.
When Jake turned 75, he was still fit and vibrant and was able to do many things that other men his age could no longer do. He would go swimming in the ocean during the summer and shovel the walk in the winter. When he became a widow at 76, he thought that his life was over. There were so many things that he realized he relied on his wife for and in her absence, he began to see life in a different light.
Jake’s son noticed that he was morose at times and that his hygiene wasn’t like it used to be. He was thinner and his cheeks were becoming hollow. As a veteran, home care wasn’t something that Jake even considered. He had been through hell in the Korean War, had watched men die alongside him, and came home to a world that didn’t make sense to him much anymore, and yet he pressed on. Even at 77, with his health beginning to show signs of decline, he didn’t consider asking for help. Like all other things he had been through, this was just another aspect of life, another battle, that he would need to fight.
Jake’s son didn’t buy into that philosophy, so he took it upon himself to learn as much as he could about various programs that could help his father. He came across the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit, or pension, that his father would qualify for. With some work and filling out forms, his father qualified for financial assistance to hire veterans home care, which is no different than any other form of elderly home care, but is for veterans.
Once the caregiver started coming by to check on him every day, Jake realized that he still had a lot of life left in him. With just a little support, his quality of life improved, and he would smile at times thinking that his wife of more than 50 years was still there, watching out for him.