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Timeless Tea Talks: Resources for Veterans Living with Dementia

Care Partner Club Forum Topic: November 2023

Read: transcript

Thank you for joining us for this special Veterans Day episode of Timeless Tea Talks. Today, we're going to explore some essential resources for veterans living with dementia. First, we'll begin with a calming breathing exercise to set the tone for our conversation. This is called the box breathing technique. Inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold for four seconds. Repeat as needed to relax. Now, let's dive into the valuable resources available for veterans facing dementia. [Resource #1: Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) - Veterans and Alzheimer's Disease Fact Sheet] Resource number one is the Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) Veterans and Alzheimer's Disease fact sheet. This resource provides insights into the significant number of American veterans affected by Alzheimer's and the unique risk factors they face. As the veteran population ages, the challenges grow, placing a strain on the VA healthcare system. Close to 500,000 American veterans currently grapple with Alzheimer's, and with the aging population, this figure is projected to rise. Veterans may face distinct risk factors for Alzheimer's and other dementias, contributing to their higher prevalence. The growing number of veterans affected by these conditions will place a significant strain on the VA health care system. [Resource #2: Alzheimer's Foundation of America - "Combatting Dementia Among Veterans"] The article discusses the challenges faced by veterans in combating dementia and highlights the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's efforts to provide support and resources for these individuals. It emphasizes the need for specialized care and assistance for veterans dealing with dementia, as well as the importance of early diagnosis and intervention. - Veterans with PTSD are more than twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those without. - The prevalence of PTSD among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is estimated at 17%. - Combat-related PTSD remains prevalent among Vietnam veterans, with a lifetime prevalence of 20% to 30%. - Older World War II and Korean veterans still have a 12% PTSD prevalence even 45 years after combat. - Veterans exposed to explosions during combat and training exercises have an increased risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI). - Nearly 414,000 TBIs were reported among U.S. service members worldwide between 2000 and late 2019. - Veterans with a TBI diagnosis were 60% more likely to develop dementia over a nine-year period. - Veterans who were Prisoners of War (POWs) had about a 50% greater risk of developing dementia, and those with both a history of being POWs and PTSD had more than double the risk. The AFA encourages memory screenings to help plan for long-term care management and help them cope effectively and pursuee healthy lifestyle choices. [Resource #3: The VA’s National Chapter offers a virtual support group through the Alzheimer’s Association. Support groups can help you find connection, feel less alone, and learn about additional resources that may be helpful. If you are searching for an in-person support group, check out the Community Resources finder on the Alzheimer’s Association’s website. [Resource #4: Veterans Against Alzheimer's] Our fourth resource is "Veterans Against Alzheimer's," a national network dedicated to raising awareness of Alzheimer's as an urgent health issue for veterans. It acknowledges the unique risk factors veterans face due to their service and aims to demand strengthened initiatives to meet their needs. [Resource #5: VA Dementia Resource Guide] Resource number five is the "VA Dementia Resource Guide." This comprehensive guide provides information on General Resources, Contacting your VA Social worker, Veterans Affairs caregiver resources, other caregiver support and support programs, video resources for caregivers, day programs, advanced directives and planning, caregiving tips, when additional care is needed, driving concerns, financial assistance, home safety tips, books for caregivers, and research [Resource #6: Department of Veterans Affairs - "Brain Health and Quality of Life in Aging"] Our sixth resource is a booklet from the Department of Veterans Affairs on "Brain Health and Quality of Life in Aging." The booklet shares some of the reasons for problems with memory and thinking and what you can do about them, including sleep, mental health, PTSD, loneliness, physical activity, side effects, vision and hearing, medical problems. The last page discusses normal brain aging. The booklet encourages you to reach out to your provider if you have concerns and want to learn more information. [Resource #7: Honor Flight] Resource number seven is "Honor Flight." This organization's mission is to celebrate America's veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation's memorials. I wanted to share some photos of an Honor Flight I was on back in September. I booked a flight last minute and ended up on an Honor Flight. About 1/3 of the passengers were Veterans and the entire experience was so special. I wanted to share some photos and videos from the flight. [Upcoming Events for Veterans Day] Lastly, here are some upcoming events in 2023 for Veterans Day. It's a time to honor and show gratitude to the brave men and women who have served our country. Issaquah Senior Center Thursday, November 9, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm Veteran’s Day Luncheon & Issaquah Singers Concert Pre-registration required, $5 includes lunch https://www.issaquahwa.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/927 City of Issaquah Veterans Day Service Friday, Nov 10, 2023, 11am Join the VFW Post #3436 for a Veterans Day Service Eastside Veterans Day Ceremony, Sunset Hills Memorial Park Cemetery Bellevue, WA November 11, 2023, 11 am https://pacificveterans.org Museum of Flight Veterans Day Ceremony Seattle, WA Date: Saturday, November 11, 2023 Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Ceremony is FREE with Museum membership and included with general admission. Veterans Day Ceremony and Parade - Mill Creek Heroes Among Us- Lynnwood Event Center The Skagit County Veterans Day Parade will take place on Saturday, November 11, 2023. Below are some events to help honor Veterans and their families! • Pancake Breakfast: 8-10am American Legion Memorial Post 91 will be hosting breakfast at the Bulington Community/Senior Center, 1011 Greenleaf Ave. Free to Military Veterans and by donation for all others. • Military Display and Refreshments: 10am-12:30pm at the Burlington Visitor Center/Chamber of Commerce, 520 E. Fairhaven Ave. Soup & Sandwich Luncheon: 12-1pm American Legion Auxiliary will provide lunch at American Legion Post 91, 721 E. Fairhaven Ave. Free to Military Veterans and by donation for all others. Dear Veterans, On Veterans Day, we extend our deepest gratitude and heartfelt appreciation to all of you who have served our country with honor and dedication. Your sacrifice, courage, and unwavering commitment to defending our freedoms are a source of inspiration and pride for us all. Your selfless service has ensured the safety and security of our nation, allowing us to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities we cherish. We recognize the sacrifices you and your families have made to protect our way of life, and we are forever thankful. Today, and every day, we honor and salute you, our veterans. Your legacy of bravery and service is a testament to the strength of our nation. We are grateful for your sacrifices, and we stand beside you with respect and gratitude. Happy Veterans Day! With the utmost appreciation, Your friends at Old Friends Club [Closing] Thank you for joining us on this Veterans Day episode of Timeless Tea Talks. We hope these resources and events can make a positive impact on veterans living with dementia. Please check the episode description for links to these valuable resources. We'll be back with more episodes soon. Stay tuned and take care!

Resources Mentioned

Resource #1 AIM - Alzheimers Impact Movement  Veterans and Alzheimer’s Disease fact sheet

https://portal.alzimpact.org/media/serve/id/5b219da2644f5

Resource #2:

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America:

“Combatting Dementia Among Veterans”

Learn more here: https://alzfdn.org/combatting-dementia-among-veterans/

Resource #3:

Support groups

https://www.communityresourcefinder.org/ResourceView/Index?id=2982154&_gl=1*1vzcl4y*_ga*MTQ2MjY0NzIyMS4xNjk5NDc4OTE3*_ga_9JTEWVX24V*MTY5OTQ3ODkxNi4xLjEuMTY5OTQ3OTA2OS40MC4wLjA.

Resource #4:

Veterans Against Alzheimers

Learn more here: https://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/networks/veterans

Resource #5:

VA: Dementia Resource Guide:

Download the guide here: https://www.va.gov/files/2022-06/Dementia%20Resource%20Guide%20Final.pdf

Resource #6:

Department of Veterans Affairs

“Brain Health and Quality of Life in Aging” - booklet, email julie.moore@va.gov to receive a copy

Resource #7:

Honor Flight

https://www.honorflight.org

Resources 8+

Visit our recent newsletter for details of upcoming events to celebrate Veterans Day 2023 here

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