Memorial Day 2020 is the perfect time to honor the sacrifices of our veterans, while also paying attention to the distinct needs of this population. For veterans with physical disabilities or mobility limitations, there are resources in place to make everyday living easier, though there could be barriers to accessing these offerings. Dedicate time or effort to empathy and making someone’s life better this Memorial Day.
As Memorial Day 2020 approaches, let’s make a point to honor the distinct needs of our veterans with increased mobility and understanding. There are numerous programs and benefits for veterans that can make life easier when living with a physical disability but accessing these resources may present challenges. In some instances, mobility aids can make the difference, improving access, and overall quality of life.
Honor a veteran and encourage them to utilize the following resources:
The first thing to do is to advocate and support any veteran who is struggling to get their benefits and entitlements from the Veterans’ Administration, whether that be housing, medical assistance, or a wheelchair. The VA is busy and people fall through the cracks; if you know someone that served, make sure to encourage them to reach out and get what is owed to them in honor of Memorial Day- any time of year!
When people think about VA benefits, housing or medical treatment probably comes to mind but the VA has a lot more to offer a disabled veteran than that. For instance, the VA can help modify your vehicle to accommodate a scooter or chair- as well as outfit a home or living situation with ramps. They also can play a vital role in mobility management, geared to increase veterans’ access to health care networks. Plus, if you are giving a ride to someone with a scooter, it can be tough transporting a scooter or chair in a regular, personal vehicle; the VA will evaluate applicants for transportation services that accommodate these needs as well as evaluate any existing vehicle the veteran has to discuss and recommend necessary modifications that could help with access.
Veterans can benefit greatly from community networks, including providers, practitioners, civic organizations, and agencies on aging. While not necessarily exclusive to veterans, these resources can improve life and autonomy for any person living with a mobility issue or obstacle to access. From advocacy and legal aid to a hot meal or emergency food supplies, community networks are often more-plugged in with a smaller cache area than the federal veterans-only aid encompasses.
Many metropolitan areas, like the Bay Area, for instance, have public transportation services that can also aid a veteran living in the area. While not ideal, these services often provide private vehicles to transport those clients or fares that rely on mobility equipment, like scooters or wheelchairs. These vehicles are equipped with lifts and special belts for a safe ride, as outlined and mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
Animal Assisted Therapy
Many veterans report feeling lonely, especially if they struggle with physical limitations. A great solution to this is a pet – certainly, if the individual is willing and able to care for a pet, but it is well worth the effort. Taking care of a pet provides a necessary sense of purpose that many disabled veterans have lost over the years; the pets rely on them for everything, which can also help establish a comfortable routine. Furthermore, pets provide companionship and affection. Single, widowed, or isolated seniors can benefit from the joy and unconditional love that pets provide. Many communities offer animal-assisted therapy visits, particularly in healthcare or community settings, like hospitals or libraries. Check out the offerings in your area or adopt a pet! Pet ownership is very rewarding.
Mobility Aids & Devices
Know that veterans don’t need to go it alone; reputable dealers of mobility aids and equipment are available to discuss options that can help improve access- and accessibility- widely. Call or visit a vendor online to pinpoint sellers in your area. Make sure to only buy from a retailer that provides no-obligation consultation, professional installation, and service after the sale.
Honor a veteran this Memorial Day and provide access to someone with a physical disability or mobility issue. While there are options designed to make life easier for individuals with limitations to access, lend that important helping hand whenever you can as a way to honor a veteran. Talk to the experts at Pacific Mobility to learn more from a reputable resource with over 64 years in the industry. Understanding the needs of our veterans is the first step in helping and honoring these brave people that have served. Call to learn more today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)