La Plata County veterans who may require more in-home care can get connected to the proper services this weekend.
Veterans can simply stop by 10 different tables at the annual Veterans Stand Down event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., as opposed to stopping by 10 different facilities seeking help, said Erin Youngblood, general manager of Comfort Keepers Home Care.
“I do see that veterans need more assistance with connecting to resources,” she said. “A lot of them isolate and maybe have mental health issues. I have seen personally individuals who just aren’t connected and don’t really want to connect, but need the connection.”
Youngblood said some of these veterans may not want go out in public too often because they may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or they simply “want to age in place.”
“They want to spend their senior years or whatever years they might have in their homes,” she said, adding that personal care, meal preparation and transportation services are needed.
La Plata County Veteran Service Officer Greg Dotson said older veterans who served in the Vietnam War are not getting out as often as they used to.
“(Veterans Affairs) Health Care is not set up here in this area to be able to do house calls,” said Dotson, who is overseeing the event. “... (In-home care) is a continuing necessity for veterans who are unable to get out, due to either sickness or they’re getting elderly and they’re not able to get out and about so much.”
Additionally, veterans affairs service hours are limited.
“Typically, what I see is like 11 or 12 hours a week,” Youngblood said.
The event will also feature therapy resources such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injuries, Dotson said.
“It’s been shown to really, really help their PTSD or TBI symptoms,” he said.
Other notable services veterans can get assistance with include housing, such as financial resources to help pay their mortgage or rent. They can also receive help with smaller things such as getting a haircut or extra clothing, Youngblood said.