Showing posts with label senior citizen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label senior citizen. Show all posts

Monday, February 8, 2021

Strange Changes: Seniors and PTSD

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
February 8, 2021 

Cross Posted on Wounded Times

I am writing my 4th book and needed address something in the first chapter so that I could move onto the rest of the book, based on PTSD Patrol. The thing I needed to address was the "strange changes" I had gone through, from survivor, to advocate, to expert and all the way back to denial. I wasn't denying the reality of PTSD. I was denying I had it. You can read it on I didn't really escape surviving unscarred.

That is why today the featured video is, David Bowie, Changes. This is going up on PTSD and Wounded Times because most of the time when you have mild PTSD, you can stuff it, push it out of the way, ignore it by keeping busy, but it is still there. When you reach retirement age, it can hit you like a ton of bricks because while you convinced yourself that you were unscarred, it turns out you just let the scar fester.

It is OK to be surprised it happened, especially if no one told you it could. It is not OK to be ashamed of it, because there is nothing wrong with being a survivor. I'm OK with admitting it and you should be too.

So it is our turn to face the strange changes in us. To use all our knowledge to do what we always did without noticing...surviving this change too. We know that life comes with many changes and challenges. You don't get to reach retirement age without them. Let's face it. Just considering all the changes our bodies go through...this is just one more change.

The good news is, we have plenty of time to do something about it. Our kids are grown. We don't have to get up early and go to work and then come home exhausted after trying to keep up with younger workers and traffic jams. This is supposed to be our time to "enjoy the fruits of our labor" and not pay for having survived this long.

Spend time learning the rules of this road the same way you leaned how to drive your vehicle back in the early days. Remember what it was like to feel that sense of freedom when you were in the car for the first time by yourself? It was great...mixed with some nervousness. This is like that too but just as you became more confident in control of that vehicle...you'll be more confident in control of the vehicle you life on.

Remember, it is your life...get in and drive it!
#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife from #PTSD
Changes
David Bowie

Oh, yeah
Mmm
Still don't know what I was waitin' for
And my time was runnin' wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
How the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don't want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
There's gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
Mmm, yeah
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they're goin' through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don't tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Where's your shame?
You've left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can't trace time
Strange fascinations fascinate me 
Ah, changes are taking
The pace I'm goin' through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Ooh, look out, you rock 'n' rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you're gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: David Bowie
Changes lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, DistroKid, Tintoretto Music 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Korean War veteran's family told he was doing good....hours after he died of COVID-19 at Veterans Home

A family was told their dad at a Jersey vets home was rebounding from coronavirus. He was already dead.


North Jersey
Scott Fallon
April 18, 2020

Tom's body had even been taken to the other man's funeral home to be prepared for cremation the next day — Tom's wishes were to be buried next to his wife.

WOODLAND PARK, N.J. – It was the best news Steve Mastropietro could have hoped to receive.

His 91-year-old father had made a near-miraculous rebound on Saturday morning after being diagnosed two days before with COVID-19.

A nurse at the New Jersey Veterans Home in Paramus said Tom Mastropietro no longer had a fever.

The Korean War veteran had not only eaten breakfast, but even walked to the bathroom unaided.

“I was stunned but happy,” Steve said. “He looked like hell the last time I saw him. They made me think he had turned a corner.”

Four hours later, the nursing staff called again.

They had made a terrible mistake.

Tom Mastropietro had died hours earlier.
read it here

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Seniors and disabled veterans, do not assume you will be getting the stimulus check

UPDATE Veterans urgent!


The Internal Revenue Service has set a deadline of May 5 for veterans to register for dependent payouts, after initially saying they would have only two days. But the guidance, along with warnings that veterans who don't complete the form now will have to wait until next year for their stimulus funds, has left some confused and scrambling.

"We have several veterans with no Internet access," one email received by Military.com said. "Are you able to get at least 25 copies of this IRS form mailed to us?" Military.com

UPDATE They changed their minds!


Mnuchin reverses course, won't force seniors to file tax return for coronavirus stimulus check
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration backtracked Wednesday evening on new rules for getting stimulus checks, saying Social Security recipients won't have to file a tax return to receive a payment.

The move is a response to pressure from elderly Americans and senators to rescind guidance issued Monday that said seniors needed to file a return to get the checks of up to $1,200, even if they weren't ordinarily required to file taxes.

Why some Americans may have to file tax returns before they see a coronavirus stimulus check


CNBC News
Lorie Konish
APR 1 2020
KEY POINTS
A $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress last week included checks of $1,200 to $2,400 to be sent to Americans.
In the legislation, the government said it would deploy those payments using information from tax returns, or 1099 forms for others who don’t typically file those documents, such as some Social Security beneficiaries.
New guidance from the IRS said that those who don’t file returns will have to do so in order to get their payments. Now, some lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing back.

NoDerog | iStock | Getty Images

There may be a catch for individuals who typically don’t file a tax return but are expecting to receive a stimulus check.

They may have to send a return to the government in order to get paid.

New guidance was released on Monday by the IRS, which said there would be “no action required for most people.”

For some, though, that’s not true.

“People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment,” the IRS stated. “Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.”

That new information drew strong pushback from certain members of Congress and advocacy organizations, who argue that those individuals should not have to file just to get their money.
read it here

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Awesome music for our generation

70s, 80s, 90s -- Nirvana, R.E.M, Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, U2, Aerosmith

Isolating because of COVID-19 is hard. I haven't been able to hug our daughter for weeks and we moved from Florida to be closer to her. A friend of mine sent me the link to this YouTube video with music from our generation to cheer me up.  It worked! Hope it does the same for you! Stay safe, think smart and we'll get back to whatever our normal is a lot sooner!


Playlist Rock

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

COVID-19: You will probably be OK in a couple of days. If we get it, we may not make it a couple of days.

Protecting seniors during Coronavirus 


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 17, 2020

I have been reading a lot of comments on Facebook that come from a very selfish attitude. It seems there are a lot of people who do not think COVID-19 will be bad for them, so they want to just go about their daily lives. This video sums up what seniors are facing!
‘Go home!’: Mel Brooks and son Max share a comedic PSA on the coronavirus.
In a comedic video plea to the public to limit actions that could continue the spread of the #coronavirus.

So, yes, if you get it, you will probably be OK in a couple of days. If we get it, we may not make it a couple of days. If you can go shopping for your elderly parents, or neighbors, please do it!

If you are grabbing all the toilet paper, paper towels and cleaners...STOP IT!


Seniors are having a hard time trying to avoid crowds but it is even worse when we try to go shopping. Discovering what we need is sold out, we end up going to different stores, and usually end up going home without what we need.

I just got off the phone with Market Basket in Rochester NH. They are not offering senior hours. The great thing going on right now is that a lot of stores are helping us out.

UPDATE Market Basket has decided to do senior hours! Yahoo!

BOSTON (WHDH) - Market Basket announced Wednesday that it will be holding “senior-only” shopping hours to protect older customers from getting the coronavirus.

Starting Thursday, the grocery store chain says it will initiate senior shopping hours specifically geared to accommodate the needs of customers 60 years of age and older.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., Market Basket will only be open to those who are 60 and older.
UPDATE
New Hampshire Hannaford not doing senior hours either. I found that out when we went there to pick up some things they did not have....(good update below)

Here is a list to get you started and I will update as soon as I find more. If you find one, not on the list, please leave it in the comment so that more people will know where to go...and in turn support them when this virus is done!

Dollar General
Beginning Tuesday, Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus. In keeping with the company’s mission of serving others, Dollar General wants to provide the at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods, according to a news release.


This list is from Newsweek
From March 19, Stop and Shop's 400 locations across New York, New Jersey, and New England will be open from 6 a.m. until 7.30 a.m. exclusively for customers over the age of 60.

Houston, Texas
Food Town is opening the doors for older shoppers from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at its around 30 locations in Houston. The early opening is reserved for shoppers aged 65 and over and the store will require a state-issued ID or a Texas driver's license.

Southern California
The Northgate Gonzales Market will open its 41 Southern California stores an hour early for senior citizens. Senior citizens will be able to shop between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and the stores will then be open to the public from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Jersey City, New Jersey
Jersey City announced that it will work with local grocery stores to set aside exclusive hours for "elderly residents, people with disabilities and pregnant residents" between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. from March 17.

Lorain, Ohio
The Apples Grocery Store on Meister Lane will open at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for senior citizens, the Flinger's Market will open at 6 a.m. for senior citizens and the Walmart will open at 5 a.m. for seniors on March 17.

New Mexico State is offering help
New Mexico State Dept asks seniors to call 1-800-432-2080 if you are unable to access groceries

UPDATE
Publix announced Thursday that it is designating Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 7 to 8 a.m. as senior shopping hours for customers age 65 and over.

Officials said the change in hours will begin Tuesday, March 24, and continue until further notice. Publix Pharmacy will also open at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to serve the senior population.

Walmart
All Walmart stores across the country are also adjusting their hours. Starting March 19, new store hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that already open later than 7:00 a.m. will open at their normal time. The changes are to allow employees more time to stock shelves and clean.

Winn-Dixie
Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of local Winn-Dixie stores, announced that they would be designating a special shopping hour to seniors and high-risk customers. Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., seniors can come to any Winn-Dixie to stock up on their essentials. They join a growing list of companies that include Walmart and Dollar General that are trying to help senior citizens get through the outbreak.

Add these from WBUR News to the list too
Several supermarket chains, including Shaws, Star Market, Price Chopper and Whole Foods, are reserving special early morning hours exclusively for seniors and other shoppers who are at greater risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus.

Shaw’s and Star Market locations are opening every Tuesday and Thursdays 7–9 a.m. for customers over 60.

Whole Foods Market locations will open one hour early for vulnerable shoppers before opening to the general public.

And every Wednesday morning, Target will dedicate the first hour of their business day to elderly customers and those it calls"vulnerable guests" with underlying health concerns.
Glad to see the list growing!

UPDATE
Hannaford joins growing list of retailers offering senior-only hours
Hannaford is joining the growing list of retailers opening early for seniors 60+.
The store says starting March 24, they will open Tuesday through Thursday at 6 a.m.

General hours are also being changed to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Monday, March 16, 2020

When things suck, try to remember other sucky days you got through

Isolated senior veterans and COVID-19 does not have to be this sucky!


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 16, 2020

Experts have been saying that the worst thing veterans can do when they have PTSD, is to isolate themselves. Experts say that seniors need to isolate themselves because of COVID-19.
Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick Group of senior citizens If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Stock up on supplies.

Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.

When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.

Avoid crowds as much as possible.

Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.

During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Well, we cannot stock up on supplies when we go to the store but everyday things like toilet paper and paper towels are gone, along with a lot of other things. We could not even find a thermometer yesterday.

It is hard on all of us because seniors are very active, but it is especially hard on senior veterans with PTSD. I spent years go get my husband out with other veterans. Being around them helps him thrive. Going to the gym helps him but the last few days has been a battle to keep him from going. Today I had some relief on that one. The gym he goes to closed!

Right now, it is very important that if you know another elderly veteran, keep that in mind so you can reach out to them and call them!

I am grateful for Amazon Prime and Netflix since he does not go online. Here are some of the things I try to get him to do.

Take a walk with your dog!
We live in a great walking neighborhood. Just because it is still cold here in New Hampshire, he can cover up with layers. At least he is away from the TV and keeps him physically active. Take a walk by yourself if you live alone.
Do projects around the house that have been put off.

We moved into our house in November and it needs work. Great time to do it!
Clean out the shed so he can clean out the garage! It is too cold for him to ride his Harley, but he can also clean that too since he is already in the garage. He can hang up all the tools he has. He can also go through the boxes of his things he never seems to have time to do. (Don't get me started on that one.)
Take a ride.
I am trying to keep him out of stores right now. So far, it has been impossible but trying to get him to at least stay in the car while I go shopping. I have to bribe him with a hot chocolate from Dunkin Donuts. It is about 20 minutes to the store. It takes me about that long to do the shopping. Then 20 more minutes home. One hour less whining!
Try to avoid news.
It is OK to catch up on what is going on so that you do not imagine the worst. Just do not spend all day watching it! Find something funny to watch or at least inspirational. 
Be prepared for news this is getting worse.
Experts say that there is about a week lag time between when someone was infected and showing up in the numbers they are releasing. With everything shut down now, there will be a reported increase in the numbers, so be prepared for that gloomy news. Then understand that all happened before steps were taken to protect more people. 
If you go online, stay away from idiots!

Most of the things I share online are either really funny or inspirational. We all know I do have to post news, but I am trying to focus more on sharing other things. 
Remember other times you got through other things.
When things suck, try to remember other sucky days and then acknowledge that you got through them...you'll get through this too! Then you can resume your life and do the things you normally did again. Besides, think of all the money you'll have saved up to enjoy it all more!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Older veterans, a patient population that is among the most vulnerable to infection.

Veterans Affairs' staffing shortage raises concerns amid coronavirus outbreak


CNN
By Zachary Cohen
March 14, 2020
Older veterans at risk
Most concerning are staffing shortages at facilities that serve a high number of older veterans, a patient population that is among the most vulnerable to infection.
Washington (CNN)

A chronic staffing shortage across the Department of Veterans Affairs is fueling new concerns that lives could be put at risk as the country's largest integrated health care system confronts the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Data released in August revealed 49,000 vacant positions across the department, which employs more than 390,000 people. While the agency's budget has since increased, tens of thousands of jobs remain unfilled.

"It could end up killing people," one VA official who works for a regional system said, referring to the likelihood that medical personnel at its 1,243 health care facilities across the country will be overwhelmed by a significant rise in patients.

Earlier this month, the VA confirmed the first case in its system. That veteran is currently being treated for coronavirus at a VA facility in Palo Alto, California.

Fifteen other cases, either confirmed or presumed to be positive, have since surfaced at VA facilities in Nevada, Louisiana, Washington state, Georgia, South Dakota and Colorado.
read it here

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Remember a lot of older veterans are not online. The phone is their lifeline!

UPDATE Media started to pay attention...




Coronavirus isolation dangerous for veterans with PTSD, Kentucky advocates warn
Louisville Courier Journal...April 3!
“Isolation in the veteran community is, in fact, a killer,” said Harrell, an Iraq combat veteran.

Veterans who struggle with PTSD, suicidal thoughts or depression are especially vulnerable during the pandemic, he said. read it here

UPDATE Calls to veteran crisis hotline up 12 percent during COVID-19 outbreak, Wilkie tells VSOs

“The isolation required now was a key part of my question,” Chenelly said. “How do we counteract the negative effects of that? How many veterans will take their own lives because of this isolation now? That’s a big reason we exist -- to keep them connected to make sure they don’t feel alone.”

Calls to veteran crisis hotline up 12 percent during COVID-19 outbreak, Wilkie tells VSOs
Here is the link

Isolated Veterans Need Help During COVID-19


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos

March 14, 2020
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is now in 49 states. It is wise for older people to isolate, since this hits us harder. Even worse if you have health issues. The problem with this is that older veterans face something most are not talking about and that is what isolation does to them.

Over all these years, the one thing experts keep stressing when dealing with PTSD, is that veterans get out with peers, join groups and spend time with others. We know that the majority of known cases of veteran suicides are still in the older veteran population. We also know that when they do spend time with other veterans, they help one another heal. Knowing you are not alone, is comforting and healing.

This is where you come in! If you know a veteran who has to isolate during this crisis, pick up the phone and call them. Do not just do it once, but spend a couple of minutes a day reaching out to them and you will change their whole day.

Remember a lot of older veterans are not online. The phone is their lifeline!

It will also give you an opportunity to know how their mood is. They may be passing off depression as nothing to worry about, and they may not even notice it themselves.

Offer to go to the store for them so they do not run out of supplies, especially toilet paper, which is insanely hard to find right now. If you cook or go out to eat, ask them if there is anything you can bring them. You do not even have to go into their house, and it may be wiser to not so that you do not expose them to whatever you were exposed to.

You'll be surprised how much little gestures of kindness can do to change the life of someone you care about!

If you are the isolated veteran, most of you are spending time watching TV. Stop watching news all day long. Stop watching war movies or with violence in them. Find comedies to lift your spirits. If you have hobbies, DO THEM! Keep busy and tackle projects you have put off.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Veterans Affairs officials no specific plans to address the “silver tsunami”

Veterans Affairs' plans for 'silver tsunami' of older patients concern lawmakers


Washington Times
By Madison Hirneisen
March 3, 2020
A February report from the Government Accountability Office suggested the VA is unprepared to address a population increase due to staffing shortages and a geographical misalignment of care. The GAO found an absence in VA health centers in places where veteran populations are dense, causing many senior veterans to rely heavily on their families to care for them later in life.
In this March 27, 2014, file photo, Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Brownley has been voting with the Republican majority in the House to amend or overturn parts of the federal Affordable Care Act. Brownley is one of a handful of Democrats in California who represent congressional districts that are closely divided between Democrats and Republicans, after voters approved an independent redistricting process. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)


Lawmakers expressed frustration Tuesday at the lack of answers from a panel of senior Veterans Affairs officials on specific plans to address the “silver tsunami” of aging U.S. veterans set to enter the agency’s health system in the coming decade.

Over the next decade, the VA is expecting a 46 percent increase in the number of veterans aged 75 and older enrolling in VA health care. Of the more than 9 million veterans currently enrolled in the VA health care system, half are already 65 and older. The VA estimates spending on health care fore elderly veterans health needs is expected to double in the next two decades.

Despite reports that a blueprint for handling the coming crush was in the works, VA officials declined to speak of any specifics of the strategic plan during a Tuesday hearing before the House Veterans Affairs health subcommittee.
read it here

Monday, January 6, 2020

Foster Families to Ailing Senior Veterans, Opening Up Their Hearths and Homes

Hundreds of Americans Become Foster Families to Ailing Senior Veterans, Opening Up Their Hearths and Homes


The Good News Network
By Andy Corbley
Jan 5, 2020
The program, launched in 2008, now has a presence in 44 states, and each family in the program is allowed to take up to three veterans into their homes in order to give them a more comfortable and personalized care environment.
Today in the United States, more than 82,000 veterans live in nursing homes—probably not the kind of conditions or end-of-life care that would warm the hearts of veterans who had served gallantly in Korea and Vietnam.

However, the Medical Foster Home program launched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) in 2008 has been providing opportunities for a much more comfortable life to senior veterans who can’t live alone by allowing American families to open their own doors to the nation’s heroes.

“A Medical Foster Home can serve as an alternative to a nursing home…for veterans who require nursing home care but prefer a non-institutional setting with fewer residents,” says the DVA website.
“Many of our caregivers and vets become family,” Cooper told Southern Living. “They take them on vacation. We recently spoke to a family who takes their veteran—a quadriplegic—camping twice a year. These are opportunities they never would have had.”
read it here

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Senior Center kicked out veterans and told seniors to do pledge in closet!

Todd Starnes: Seniors told to pledge allegiance to the flag -- in a closet

FOX News
By Todd Starnes
July 15, 2019

“The first person to receive a trespass notice walked into the center carrying his flag and was told, ‘This is your warning. If you try to say the pledge you will be escorted off the property by the sheriff,’” Miss Minnie told me. “He did receive a trespass notice.”
A raging battle over prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance at a Washington State community center took an ugly turn when military veterans were thrown off the property and elderly patriots were told to recite the pledge inside a closet.

The board of directors at the Mullis Community Senior Center on San Juan Island decided to revise its lunchtime program by removing the traditional prayer and the recitation of the pledge.

The center’s executive committee blamed the prayer and the pledge for a decline in attendance, as I mentioned on the "Todd Starnes Radio Show" Podcast.

“We discovered that many of the incoming seniors were uncomfortable with an introductory ceremony where the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer were recited,” they wrote in a letter to the San Juan Islander.

The senior center went on to say they had a “duty to provide a safe and peaceful environment in our building and on our property, inclusive to all.”

Minnie Kynch, a longtime member of the community center, told me that a majority of the citizens staged a rebellion and decided to show and recite the flag in spite of the rule. So then, the operators of the community center decided to play hardball.
read it here

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Roofers ripped off disabled veteran in Florida

Two Brevard roofers accused of scamming $35,000 from disabled veteran


Florida Today
Tyler Vazquez
June 18, 2019

Two Brevard County roofers are accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a disabled veteran, according to court records.

Craig Favero, 44, and Christopher Harris, 43, used intimidating tactics to compel the customer to pay for uncompleted work after Hurricane Irma, according to arrest records.

Harris, of Melbourne, was arrested Sunday and charged with exploitation of an elderly or disabled adult and grand theft. Favero, of Satellite Beach, received the same charges in addition to burglary of an occupied dwelling.

Favero and Harris were hired in November of 2017 to provide a new metal roof after damage from Hurricane Irma. At one point, Harris showed up at the customer's house and aggressively demanded payment but refused to accept her credit card, police said.

At various times, they would wait for the customer's husband to leave the house before showing up at her home to aggressively demand money for work they had not yet done, police said.
read more here

Monday, March 25, 2019

VA latest "effort" on suicide prevention forgot about older veterans

Caution: While this sounds like a great idea...the majority of known veterans committing suicide are over the age of 50 and they do not use cell phones for more than calls and taking pictures for the most part. Would be nice to have the VA explain why they are not joining forces with groups that are helping all generations.

VA partners with Objective Zero Foundation

Department of Veterans Affairs Press Replease
Mobile platform connects service members and Veterans to peer support and mental health services

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently partnered with the nonprofit Objective Zero Foundation to aid in connecting Veterans with suicide prevention support and resources.

The partnership, formalized on Dec. 3, 2018 provides a shared goal of preventing suicide among service members and Veterans, with a special focus on service members transitioning out of the military.

Objective Zero offers a free mobile app that instantly and anonymously connects Veterans, service members, their families and caregivers to suicide prevention resources and a nationwide community of peer supporters via text, voice, and video chat. The foundation, enhances social connectedness among Veterans and improves access to mental health and wellness resources.

“At VA, we are working to prevent Veteran suicide by using an approach that looks beyond our traditional health care settings,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Our partnership with Objective Zero is an integral part of reaching Veterans where they live, work and thrive, and we are looking forward to working more closely with them.”

Objective Zero Co-founder and Executive Director Betsey Mercado said her foundation was proud to partner with VA to improve the well-being and mental health of Veterans.

“Joining efforts with this community provides better access to resources and highly needed support for the men and women that have served and sacrificed so much for our country,” Mercado said.

VA has a suite of mobile mental health apps that offer information about mental health issues, tools to help develop and practice coping skills, and assessments that allow users to track progress over time. Learn more at www.ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile. The Objective Zero app can be downloaded at https://www.objectivezero.org/app.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and press 1, send a text message to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

Reporters covering this issue are strongly encouraged to visit www.reportingonsuicide.org for important guidance on how to communicate about suicide.


The Objective Zero Foundation contributes to efforts that prevent suicide. We accomplish this by enhancing social connectedness and access to suicide prevention resources. A MISSION-DRIVEN TECH START-UP, OBJECTIVE ZERO SEEKS TO CONNECT SERVICE MEMBERS, VETERANS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND CAREGIVERS TO SUICIDE PREVENTION SUPPORT AND RESOURCES.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Floyd E. “Tut” Fann Veterans Home abusing veterans?

Current employee and family of veterans allege physical abuse, retaliation at Huntsville veterans home


WAFF News
By Chris Joseph
March 20, 2019

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Allegations of veterans mistreatment continue against the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann Veterans Home in Huntsville.

A current employee and family members of former veterans at the home are alleging physical abuse, mistreatment, chronic under-staffing, and a culture of fear at the facility.

The allegations come after WAFF 48 News published a report on Tut Fann where two former employees alleged mistreatment of the veterans staying there.

Years of state inspection documents supported some of the former employees claims, but the most recent reports clear the facility of any major deficiencies.

The facility serves roughly 150 veterans, some who are unable to speak for themselves.

The following account comes from Amanda Childress, the granddaughter of a former veteran who stayed at the facility. WAFF 48 News contacted Amanda after she commented pictures of her grandfather, Tommie Pierce, on a Facebook post of the original report.
read more here

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Delay, deny, did older veterans already die?

Did old veterans vanish?

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 12, 2019


The headline is "Snoop Dogg Is Helping To Lower Suicide Rates Among Veterans" but when you read it, you see something that will make you want to just smack your head down on the desk...less painful than reading this.
"The Press-Enterprise reports co-founders John Wertz and Nate Parienti are motivated by the high rate of suicides amongst Iraq War veterans."
OMG! Not enough they are still stuck on the 22 a day, but now they just bumped all the other veterans out of the conversation? Looks like all the other generations are not even worth honorable mentioning.

Well, this is from the report with the "22" that apparently no one read before they decided to become the knight on a white horse to raise awareness on something THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT!!!


How the hell do any of them expect to change anything when they do not even understand what the "anything" actually is? 

VA Struggles To Unlock The Reasons Behind High Suicide Rates Among Older Veterans 
NPRHeard on All Things ConsideredMarch 11, 2019
The VA National Suicide Data Report for 2005 to 2016, which came out in September 2018, highlights an alarming rise in suicides among veterans age 18 to 34 — 45 per 100,000 veterans. Younger veterans have the highest rate of suicide among veterans, but those 55 and older still represent the largest number of suicides.
Much of the focus by the Veterans Health Administration has been on the growing number of younger veterans who commit suicide. However, statistics show that the suicide rate for elderly veterans is higher than that of non-veterans of the same age.

Robert Neilson was drafted in 1961. He spent two years in the Army just before the Vietnam War. Three years ago, the 76-year-old came into the VA Hospital in San Diego after contemplating suicide.

"That's what really brought me into the emergency room. That wasn't really the first time," Neilson said. "Two months after I got out of the service, I attempted suicide."

After he got out of the Army, Neilson remembers going back home to New Jersey. He was standing on a subway platform watching a speeding train."

"And I figured if I just hold my hands in the air, I could just let [the train] suck me in," Neilson said. "Somebody shouted, 'What are you doing?' And that was enough to snap me out of the trance. But I still didn't seek any help. I just figured, OK, I'll just struggle through life."read more here 
Hey NPR...how about you read this site and then you'll know why! While most people get the "number" wrong, they also get the demographics wrong. 


So, here are some thoughts on that.

According to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Report of 2018, the veterans population breaks down like this.

Fiscal Year 2017 (Federal Year: 10/1/2016-9/30/2017) demographic information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veteran Population Projection Model 2016 (VetPop2016). Florida has the third largest veteran population in the nation. 


There are 1,525,400 veterans in the State of Florida.

Less than 354,000 currently receive VA service-connected compensation and pension benefits (not to be confused with military retirement benefits)

Post-9/11 Veterans
There are 177,494 post-9/11 veterans in Florida. Our returning veterans, much like the Greatest Generation of World War II, are seeking employment, housing and education opportunities for themselves, their spouses and families. Research suggests that 10% to 18% of these service members are likely to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after they return.
Gulf War (1990 to 9/11)
There are 188,024 Gulf War era veterans in Florida, from Gulf War 1990 to 9/11. Urban warfare has changed not only the face of war, but also what our veterans face after the war. With advances in technology and medicine, more service members are surviving injuries incurred in war that would have killed them in previous eras.
Peacetime
There are 352,600 Peacetime veterans in Florida, who served on active duty from 1976 to 1980. Almost a quarter of Florida’s veteran population served honorably during a unique and relatively conflict-free time in our history. Many of these veterans do not seek benefits, mistakenly believing that if they did not serve in combat, then they must not qualify for veteran benefits and programs.
Vietnam War
There are 519,843 Vietnam era veterans in Florida, who served during 1961 to 1975. FDVA has seen an increase in disability claims filed on behalf of Vietnam veterans due to triggered responses to the current wars and the manifestation of acute diseases brought on by exposure to Agent Orange.
Korean War
There are 139,129 Korean War era veterans in Florida, who served during 1950 to 1955. As these veterans have aged, benefits and services that address a variety of issues unique to their demographic, including changing health risks and long-neglected mental health needs, financial challenges and long-term care needs are being implemented.
World War II
There are 61,646 World War II veterans in Florida. World War II veterans were among the nation’s first to participate in modern warfare. Their service also coincided with major advances in modern medicine, resulting in a then extraordinary survival rate.
In one of the latest reports from the VA, Florida and Texas topped the country for the most known suicides reported.

When they "awareness" folks decided that all they needed to do to gain fame, fortune and a huge following, was yack about veterans killing themselves, and wow, you know, THEY GOT IT! They got it because the American people want to help but have no clue how to do it. These people took over social media, so that is what the public was made aware of and they wrote checks, clicked the donation buttons and shared the crap out of it with everyone they knew...and so on...on so on.

Veterans need to know what PTSD is, why they have it, how they can heal most of it, and learn to live a better quality of life...but hey, why complicate a slogan with pesky facts?

In the process, they made it seem as if all the older veterans you read about had already vanished! 

In other words, the MAJORITY OF OUR VETERANS ARE SENIORS and waited for help a hell of lot longer!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

PTSD Patrol: Antique vehicles wanted

PTSD Patrol Turbo charge your healing

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
March 2, 2019

It seems as if everyone is talking about younger veterans with PTSD...forgetting that the majority of veterans seeking help for PTSD are over the age of 50. Unfortunately, that age group are also the majority of the known suicides. What did you expect me to say when they are also the majority of veterans in our country?

OK, so, if you are driving an antique, you know it takes a lot more to keep it running than if you had a new car with all the techno crap you really don't need. 

When you figure out that there is something seriously wrong with your vehicle, you can keep it in the garage, but that does not solve the problem. You ask some buddies what they think could be wrong, but you won't get the right answer unless you are able to mimic the noise that is in the engine.

Often, you will search online, then discover what you think it may be. You may make an appointment with the mechanic (docs at the VA) and get a diagnosis.
read more here

Monday, February 18, 2019

Help Herbie, WW2 Veteran, Dying Wish Come True

Fundraiser Underway to Help 96-Year-Old WWII Veteran Live Final Days at Home Care Facility


Faithwire
February 18, 2019
Friends of Gordon’s set up a GoFundMe campaign called “Herbie WW2 Veterans Dying Wish” to help cover the costs. It had raised more than $11,000 of the $35,712 goal as of the weekend.

A community is trying to give back to a hero who served this country by ensuring he gets to live his final days comfortably in the home care facility where he spent the last years with his late wife.
World War II U.S. Army veteran Herb Gordon, 96, has had multiple brushes with death, the latest being in 2017, when he broke his neck while volunteering at a medical center, he told WPBF-TV.
“They were so certain I was going to die on the operating table, but I had my family here and God listened,” Gordon said of his caretakers at the Atria Senior Living Facility in Lantana, Florida. “And here I am.”
read more here

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Veteran works full time for Post Office...at 76 and fears becoming homeless?

‘I’m scared’: He is 76, a veteran and struggling to find an affordable apartment


The Washington Post
Theresa Vargas
February 16, 2019

Jeffrey Snure doesn’t want to end up homeless.

He told me this on a recent morning as we sat down to eat breakfast at a Latin American restaurant next to a 7-Eleven.
Jeffrey Snure, a 76-year-old veteran, works full time for the U.S. Postal Service. He fears he will soon become homeless. (The Washington Post)

“Am I scared?” he said. “Better believe I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how to keep it from happening.”

Lately, he has paid more attention to a man who walks through his Northern Virginia neighborhood who appears as if he’s barely avoiding life on the street.

“Every time I see him, I get very nervous,” Snure said. “I don’t want that to happen to me.”

Snure is a 76-year-old veteran. He also works full time for the U.S. Postal Service. He shouldn’t be worried about sleeping on a sidewalk. And yet, in recent weeks, as he faces eviction from the apartment where he has lived for more than two decades, Snure has found himself feeling increasingly frustrated, lost and, yes, even scared, as he searches for a rarity in the region: an affordable place to live.

He said he has worked for the Postal Service for more than two decades, and he spends six days a week fixing mail-sorting machines as an electronic technician. For that, he said he earns about $66,000 a year.
read more here

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

PTSD FOR THE FNGs

PTSD is an old wound and so are most of our veterans


Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 30, 2019



If you do not know what FNG stands for, look it up. I'll wait...now you know.

This morning driving to work, I had my usual radio station on. WMMO plays music from the 70's. Considering that is my generation, the listeners are far from FNGs. 

As usual, I had to hear the nauseating commercial for the famous, or as our generation refers to it as, infamous veterans charity. Normally I have a spontaneous zap on the channel switch, but this morning I found myself yelling at the radio instead of saving myself the grief of listening to the damn thing!

It was like getting slapped in the head over and over again! By the time I heard their registered slogan at the end, I was pretty much out of my mind.

Wounded Warrior Project - The greatest casualty is being forgotten.® ... the Advance Guard monthly giving program for $19 a month and receive a WWP blanket.
Yes, they actually registered that slogan! The thing is, the commercial plays on a station for older people, including a lot of older veterans.

Why is this such a torn in my side? This group does absolutely nothing for the generation they avoid mentioning! They are only interested in OEF and OIF veterans. YEP! They consistently leave that part out.

No one is saying that the new generation does not deserve help. No one is saying there is anything wrong with so many charities focusing on their needs. What is wrong IS WHEN THEY DO NOT MENTION THAT FACT TO THE PUBLIC especially when they are asking for the pubic to donate to them.

Sure, they run down a list of what PTSD was called before, but fail to even begin to acknowledge how most of the veterans in this country are not OEF or OIF. THEY ARE OLDER! They waited longer, fought harder and made sure that the government accepted their disabilities as a price of sending them into combat.

We know all that! The problem is, the majority of the people in this country have no clue.

The commercial says that PTSD effects one out of five Iraq and Afghanistan veterans right after it lists the other terms given to the wound that has stricken veterans since the beginning of war itself. So the "today" it is called, is BS. Oh, by the way, it hit one out of three Vietnam veterans.

It claims that "today" it is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Too bad the commercial itself shows how they forgot a lot of veterans, especially the ones who have to endure that BS FUBAR crap coming over their favorite radio station.

PTSD is called that because Vietnam veterans came home and fought for it to be recognized as a war wound, and they fought for all generations. They wanted to make sure that no generation left another behind. 

Since the known number of veterans committing suicide are in fact mostly over the age of 50, you'd think that should matter, but it doesn't to any of the new groups popping up pretending that no one was doing anything before they came along.

While Vietnam veterans used their strength in numbers for the greater good, the FNGs use their stupefied social media skills for the mighty buck.

Considering that according to all the known data on PTSD and suicide, we had much better results before this wound was turned into a billion dollar industry, we're screaming BOHICA incoming FNGs mucking up everything we achieved.

In Vietnam, they went into units as strangers, one at a time. The FNG was someone to stay away from until they proved themselves to the rest of the unit. So when do we actually see proof from this group, or any of the other groups that popped up? 

When does this group mention the fact that a huge chunk of the money that is donated to them actually ends up being given to colleges as grants, instead of to the veterans that need services?

Emory Healthcare was one of the recipients, among many more.
The Emory Healthcare Veterans Program has received a five-year, $29.2 million-dollar grant from Wounded Warrior Project to further its work providing transformative care for Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI),dd depression and anxiety.The Emory Healthcare Veterans Program is one of four U.S. programs that are part of Wounded Warrior Project’s Warrior Care Network, a first-of-its-kind treatment partnership that provides world class mental health care to Veterans or servicemembers who served/deployed after 9/11.


Oh, sorry, guess they just forgot to leave that part out too. 

They did do something good up in Boston with the Red Sox Home Base and Mass General Hospital.
Home Base, a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, has announced a $65 million grant from the Wounded Warrior Project in support of mental health care for military veterans and their family members.The commitment — $3 million for a capital campaign to establish a National Center of Excellence in the Charlestown Navy Yard and $62 million to Mass General to expand its clinical services — will fund Home Base's continued participation in the Warrior Care Network, which connects wounded veterans and their families to high-quality individualized mental health care. 

Don't get me wrong here. They do some good butwhy is that commercial playing on our age group station? Because they hope that no one notices what they do not say and twist things up to the point that we forget that we have been forgotten...or not even worth mentioning?