HAVE YOU EVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY?

One question can make a big difference…

PROVIDE QUALITY SERVICE TO AGING VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES BY:

  • Helping older veterans feel understood and respected for their military service.
  • Making effective referrals to military-veteran-specific programs and resources.
  • Helping military widows access survivor benefits.

WHY ASK THE QUESTION?

Over 48% of our NH veterans are over age 65.  As a provider of services to older adults, you will encounter veterans and spouses/widows of veterans.  Whether you are providing health care, financial counseling, caregiver services, residential care, or any other service for seniors, it is important to identify veterans and their family members.  One question can and will make a big difference!

At the point of intake,

ASK THE QUESTION:

“Have you or a family member ever served in the military?”

WHEN THE ANSWER IS “YES,” you may consider thanking them for their service. You may also then be able to find out more about your client’s military history that will help you to provide the best possible services and referrals.  Asking further questions will also help you to:

  • Build rapport and demonstrate interest and cultural competency
  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical and medical issues that need to be  considered
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Explore areas of functioning in need of support, as well as existing supports, services, and resources
  • Address perceived barriers to seeking support and services

Read a vignette about how providers in
Aging & Senior Services can make a difference!

Following are some questions that could be asked in the context of gathering information for more effective referrals and services.  Pay attention to non-verbal cues, and show respect, curiosity, and empathy.  Also be aware that responsiveness and effective follow-up are critical to building trust and rapport.

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When did you/your family member serve? What service era? Which Branch?

  • Build rapport and demonstrate interest and cultural competency
  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs

What was your/your family member’s job while serving?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical and medical issues that need to be considered

In what ways may the services that you’re here for be connected to your/your family member’s military service?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical and medical issues that need to be  considered
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Explore areas of functioning in need of support, as well as existing supports, services, and resources

Did you/your family member experience deployment?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs

What is your/your family member’s discharge type/status?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs

Are you/your family member enrolled at or connected to the VA or other veteran resources or organizations for services and support?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Explore areas of functioning in need of support, as well as existing supports, services, and resources

Have you/your family member ever used the VA for health care?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Explore areas of functioning in need of support, as well as existing supports, services, and resources

Do you/your family member have a service-connected disability or condition?

  • Link to any needed military/veteran resources and referrals, including both VA and non-VA programs
  • Identify any mental health and/or physical and medical issues that need to be  considered
  • Identify potential sources of income and assess financial stability
  • Explore areas of functioning in need of support, as well as existing supports, services, and resources

What types of support are needed but not yet met?

  • Explore areas of functioning in need of support, as well as existing supports, services, and resources

What reservations did you/your family member have about coming in to seek assistance? Is there anything that might be a barrier to further seeking assistance?

  • Address perceived barriers to seeking support and services