One topic that has always been near and dear to my heart is the treatment and care of our veterans. Though I never served in the military myself, both of my grandfathers were veterans of foreign wars. One of them fought in World War II, and the other was an officer and medical doctor in Korea and Vietnam. For me, their sacrifice has always put the sacrifice of other service members in the forefront of my mind. I think that everyone has at least some idea of the hardship that our men and women in uniform undertake when serving our country, but the full cost is hard to recognize for someone who hasn’t been there themselves or had family there.
Individuals serving in war are exposed to physical and mental situations that just can’t be replicated in any other place. The toll on a soldier’s body and mind can be extreme. Explosions, gunfire, fatigue, stress, and any other number of scenarios that would be unimaginable to someone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves, are ever-present for our military service members.
Many soldiers returning from war are left with both visible and invisible injuries that can continue throughout their lives. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, amputations, chemical exposure, and any number of other injuries encountered on the battlefield can change a soldier’s life forever. Upon returning home, injured soldiers often face challenges when seeking medical supports and services. The Veterans Administration (VA) works hard to fill the needs of our returning soldiers, but unfortunately, sometimes the need exceeds the available supply.

For soldiers returning home with injuries that require a high level of assistance, or for those who have developed the increased need for assistance at some point later in life, there is a tendency from the medical establishment to try to solve the problem in the easiest way possible. In many cases, that means putting veterans in nursing homes rather than seeking out a solution that brings about a better outcome for the patient.

At The Independence Center, our philosophy is based on helping people with disabilities to live life on their terms, independently within their homes. We are proud of our vets, and believe they deserve better. They fought to keep our country safe, and it is important that we commit ourselves to ensure they are able to live life to the fullest. The Veteran In Charge (VIC) program provides veterans of all ages and all wars just that opportunity. Veteran In Charge is a Veteran Directed – Home and Community Based Services or VD-HCBS program that supplements, not replaces, VA benefits. Though the program is funded by the Veterans Administration, it is administered through The Independence Center. The VIC program differs from a typical skilled home health care program in that the veteran makes decisions about their own care.

Dependent on the specific needs of each veteran, the level of service can be tailored to provide maximum benefit. For example, one person might need in-home personal care and transportation, while someone else only needs home modifications and meal delivery. Other services include homemaker services, caregiver support, adult daycare, assistive devices, environmental support, and emergency response systems. Whatever your level of need, The IC can work with each veteran one-on-one to create a plan that best fits the individual, and leads to a life of independence. To learn more about the Veteran In Charge program, and how the program can help you or your loved-one to maintain independence, call The Independence Center at 719-471-8181.