Aging Veterans Quickstart Guide

Welcome to the Aging Veterans Quickstart Guide.

This is a starting point for information and resources for aging veterans.

This guide is intended for:

  • Aging Veterans
  • Family Members
  • A person who is helping one of the above

Over half of Arizona’s veterans are over the age of 55. For some, this new phase of life may be fulfilling and exciting, but for others aging and retirement can be a more difficult adjustment and an overwhelming time of managing life changes, health issues, finances, etc. There are a number of ways that aging veterans can connect to information and resources.

What can aging veterans focus on to be proactive?
An article on My HealtheVet, the VA’s online health portal, focuses on five things veterans can do to age well:

  • Exercise
  • Eat well
  • Don’t smoke
  • Visit your doctor
  • Stay connected

Link: Go to the article on My HealtheVet for resources and information on each of these five areas.

These are some resources focused on aging veterans:

1.    Connect to the VA for information on health care, support services and benefits. If you’ve never been enrolled in the VA, you may still qualify for care. You may also qualify for benefits.

Links: VA Quickstart Navigation Guide

2.    Hear other aging veterans stories and find information on Make the Connection:

Make the Connection has a section focused on retirement and aging. As veterans age they often have the same worries and concerns as everyone else going through the aging process. These include potential health issues and access to health care, concerns about finances and retirement, care needs and overall mental health. However, circumstances that may make aging and retirement more challenging for veterans than the general civilian population include:

  • Fewer distractions and more “down time” after retirement to recall past events
  • Losing touch with coworkers and friends
  • Feeling like your days lack focus without the routine of work
  • Current events and news reports that may bring back memories of events during military service
  • Health ailments and feeling less strong

Links:

Visit the Make the Connection page  for more information and links to resources.

You can also view other veteran stories about retirement and aging on the video page.

Learn more about suggestions for older veterans who may be experiencing PTSD.

3.    Find out about services available from the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services:

The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services (ADVS) has a Veterans Services Division with a mission to serve Arizonas Veterans and their families by providing information and assistance in securing their rightful benefits as provided for by state and federal law. There are Veterans Benefits Counselors provide services in every county.

Link: Learn more on the ADVS website.

ADVS has a Fiduciary Division that has a mission to provide guardianship, conservatorship and decedent services to protect the estates and well-being of veterans, spouse or minor child of a veteran, determined by a court to be incapacitated and protected persons.

Link: Learn more and find contact information for the Fiduciary Division on the ADVS website.

ADVS also operates State Veteran Homes providing skilled nursing and rehabilitative care for veterans and surviving spouses. Currently there are homes in Phoenix and Tucson.

Link: Learn more and find contact information on the ADVS website.

4.    Contact your local Area Agency on Aging:
Each region of Arizona has an Area Agency on Aging (AAA), which is a public or nonprofit agency that provides help to older Arizonans. Services may include home and community based services, advocacy and information on resources.

Link: Find the Area Agency on Aging in your area.

5.    Connect to additional information and resources available in the community for aging veterans and their families. Topics include caregiver support, legal assistance, volunteer opportunities, nutrition and more.

Link: Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Adult and Aging Services.

6. Consider volunteer opportunities:

Senior Corps is a national service program for adults 55+. Service opportunities include foster grandparents, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and Senior Companions.

Link: Visit the national service Senior Corps website to learn more and search for opportunities in your area.