Veterans can suffer wounds that civilians can't see

Veterans often have health problems, due to their service in adverse conditions, that can require special care to continue living at home.

Pegasus professionals in Agoura and elsewhere provide comprehensive homecare services. We recognize that veterans may require special care to continue living at home. We are honored to meet their needs.

Veterans may be unable to care for themselves for a variety of reasons. They may have a chronic illness or be disabled. Some are elderly.

Survivors of recent military action can be young. Veterans of any age have the same health conditions that civilians have. However, many also have additional mental, emotional, and physical issues resulting from their military action.

Family Caregivers Are Often Overwhelmed

Many veterans rely on family caregivers. Family caregivers are traditionally the “first responders” when individuals need assistance.

Their efforts can adversely affect their own mental and physical health. Pegasus offers respite services designed to give family caregivers a break. We can also provide training and support to make their job easier.

But when family caregivers are unable to continue or are unavailable, we are here for our veterans. We know they have survived trauma and are wounded in ways that others aren’t. Familiarity with an individual’s military history is essential to providing the best possible care.

Veterans who return home are no longer the same as before they went off to war. Caregivers need to understand that honesty and factual information are better than false assurances. Every individual has hidden strengths, and that’s the foundation that homecare providers must build on.

Veterans Are Exposed To Unusual Risks To Their Health

Depending on where they served, veterans have been exposed to toxins and poisons such as:

  • Air pollutants, such as from burn piles
  • Biological weapons
  • Chemicals
  • Contaminated water
  • Nerve agents
  • Radiation

These can lead to health problems years after exposure. They are also exposed to diseases that aren’t prevalent in the U.S. that can weaken them later. Veterans are also subject to physical injuries that can lead to amputations.

Veterans Have Numerous Kinds Of Wounds

Veteran caregivers must be prepared to attend to physical, emotional, and mental wounds. Providing appropriate care sometimes makes supplemental training necessary for out-of-the-ordinary conditions.

Current research is focused on three primary concerns:

  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Researchers have designated these as the “invisible wounds of war.”

The invisible wounds affect behavior, mood, and thoughts. They are one reason for the high rate of suicide among veterans. Meeting the needs of veterans can require more than basic health care.

Caregivers Must Be Aware Of Risk Factors For Suicide

Caregivers must have more awareness of suicide-risk factors in veterans than they do with most patients. Many veterans are reluctant to discuss their feelings. Part of providing home health care involves more than the usual level of discernment.

Younger wounded veterans often present a higher risk of suicide. They may be facing a lifetime of needing assistance in meeting their needs. Their disabilities can threaten their sense of identity, and they may require emotional support as well as physical help.

Military sexual trauma (MST) also leaves veterans wounded. Little official help has been available. The resulting PTSD is thought to be one source of veteran suicides.

The visible and invisible wounds of war can leave veterans coping with chronic pain, psychological disorders, and substance abuse. These are challenges which require experienced home health caregivers.

Researchers are investigating another difficulty faced by veterans that usually isn’t experienced by civilians. That is the concept of moral injury. Moral injury is the result of committing or witnessing acts that violate the individual’s moral beliefs or expectations.

It affects a veteran’s health in the following ways:

  • Behavioral
  • Biological
  • Psychological
  • Spiritual
  • Social

Homecare includes providing assistance to help veterans cope with every kind of injury. That can mean obtaining counseling, including support from an appropriate faith community. Caregivers for veterans understand that help can come from other than the medical community.

Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Since 1994, we’ve helped individuals meet their health challenges in the safety of their home. We’re recognized as an industry leader because of the consistently high-quality care we provide.

We are dedicated to helping individuals accomplish their day-to-day tasks and maintain as much independence as possible. Our physical and occupational therapists help wounded veterans care for themselves. Other experts, such as our RNs, teach patients self-care.

Pegasus professionals know what community and other agencies have to offer. We coordinate with them to obtain needed services, treatments, and equipment. We are familiar with the benefit and care programs available for veterans.

We customize our home healthcare services to meet individual needs. Individuals are treated with dignity and respect for their privacy regardless of their health needs. We are always available in Agoura and our other locations to offer veterans the specialized homecare they may need.

Veterans Day is November 11; it’s the day set aside to honor and thank all who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Please join us in recognizing the heroism and sacrifices of our veterans.