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Veterans in Nursing Homes

Many families of retired military members or veterans do not know all of the options available to them for senior care. Since May is National Military Appreciation Month, remember that your veteran deserves the best care. MedlinePlus.gov defines nursing homes as secure places for patients who don’t need to be hospitalized, but they can’t function at home, either. This applies to civilians or ex-military.

Nursing homes employ a vast range of medical specialists focused on everything from speech rehabilitation to occupational therapy. But the foundation on which these facilities rests on a mix of nursing aides, RNs, LPNs and orderlies. They work day to day for the care and well-being of patients.

Not All Nursing Homes Are Equal

First, the most obvious differences between regular and Veteran’s Affairs (VA) nursing homes are the residents. Veterans may require care for combat-related experiences. Additionally, they may have disability claims. Lastly, their ailments and conditions can range from emotional illnesses to physical ones, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Furthermore, geriatric veterans, whose active duty time may have been decades ago, are particularly suited to using their VA benefits for ailments that have nothing to do with combat and everything to do with aging. Once a bastion of men’s rehab and recovery, today’s VA nursing homes now serve both men and women.

Mainstream nursing homes focus on these 6 areas:

  1. Post-surgery support for folks who can’t manage on their own.
  2. Skilled, specialized nursing care.
  3. Speech, occupational and physical therapy.
  4. Orthopedic care for patients with bone, joint and muscle-related conditions.
  5. Wound care requiring 24/7 monitoring.
  6. Antibiotic and intravenous medication services.

However, your veteran may need different care due to PTSD and other specific veteran ailments.

PTSD Symptoms

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, about 60% of men “experience at least one trauma in their lives.” For veterans, exposure to physical assaults, combat, disasters and witnessing death all fall under the commonalities of military service. But gender-based claims are no longer limited to men.

Next, 23% of women serving in the military have experienced PTSD as a result of sexual assaults. Many seek treatment at a VA facility. This treatment now falls under Military Sexual Trauma (MST).

Also, nearly 600,000 veterans currently receive disability benefits specifically for PTSD. Specific care at VA nursing homes should focus on this unfortunately common problem.

Where in Illinois Can Veterans Live for Elder Care?

Unfortunately, according to NBC-TV reporter Jessica Savage on February 28, 2018, ex-military “have less options for nursing home care,” based on the Corpus Christi, Texas facility she investigated.

Additionally, in Illinois, the situation isn’t much better. Four VA nursing homes exist in the state. Not one of them located in the metropolitan Chicago area.

Currently, the VA operates facilities in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy. Veterans must travel distances or end up separated from family to live in a VA facility. With distance and less frequent visits, you need to ensure that the care your loved one receives does not decline. Lastly, with the dramatic increase in the numbers of veterans treated for PTSD, treatment distance can mean the difference between getting help and becoming a statistic.

If you or someone you love is a veteran at a VA nursing home who may have suffered elder abuse, please contact the Law Office of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. today. With more than 30 years experience practicing plaintiffs’ personal injury law, we can fight aggressively on your behalf. Serving the Northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, and surrounding areas, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd.helps level the playing field against major insurance companies and corporations. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident, call our office at (847) 637-5818 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys. The sooner we can learn about your case and your needs, the more effective we can be at recovering fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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