Comfort Keepers - Benefits and services for the older veteran

By Martha Swats, Owner/Administrator, Comfort Keepers

There are 12.4 million veterans age 65 or older in our country. They served in conflicts around the world, including World War II, 
the Korean War, 
the Vietnam War, and even
 in the Persian Gulf War.
There are 12.4 million veterans age 65 or older in our country. They served in conflicts around the world, including World War II, 
the Korean War, 
the Vietnam War, and even
 in the Persian Gulf War

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a wide range of benefits 
for veterans, service members, and their families.

Who Is eligible?
• A veteran
• A veteran's dependent
• A surviving spouse, child, or parent of a deceased veteran

VA Benefits
Senior veterans may be eligible for a wide-variety of benefits available to all U.S. military veterans. 
Click on the benefits below for more information from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

• Disability Compensation
• Pension
• Education and Training
• Health Care
• Home Loans
• Insurance
• Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment
• Burial

Benefits focused on those 65 and up

A pension can be received monthly if a veteran is a wartime veteran with limited income, and he or 
she is permanently and totally disabled or at least 65 years old. There is no time limit to apply for compensation and pension benefits.
A death pension is payable to some surviving spouses and children of deceased wartime veterans. 
The benefit is based on financial need.

Aid and attendance allows for veterans and surviving spouses who need another person to assist them with eating, bathing,
dressing, undressing, medication dosing, etc., to receive additional monetary benefits. This benefit includes vets who are
cared for at home, in a nursing home, or assisted living facility.

What Is the difference between aid and attendance and housebound pensions? The care needs and the rates of payment are the main difference. For an aid and attendance pension, the veteran must need activities of daily living such as dressing or bathing. For the housebound pension, the veteran must be substantially confined to his or her immediate premises because of a permanent disability.

See How Comfort Keepers Can Help. We feel privileged to offer quality in-home care and companionship to veterans who served our nation in times of need. Once you are an approved participant in a VA program, check with your local Comfort Keepers office to see if they can provide the following veteran’s services: 
the Improved Pension Benefit Program; the Homemaker/Home Health Aide Program; and the In-Home Respite Program.

If you think you or your loved one may qualify for one of the VA programs, contact your local Comfort Keepers office today.

Local VNA offers grief support workshops starting March 10

LACONIA — This spring, Central New Hampshire Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice will offer a new series of workshops for all ages exploring grief and celebrating loved ones through art, music, and nature. Each workshop will include several hands-on stations, led by local artists, such as crafting hand-made books; playing or creating harp melodies; forming clay pots or luminaries; tying fly-fishing lures; recording a favorite family story; pressing flowers; or planting seeds in honor of a loved one.

The first of these grief workshops will be on Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m.-noon, and is open to all ages. Guiding artists on March 10 will include painter and sculptor Kathryn Field, therapeutic musician Val May, and gardener and bereavement care coordinator Dan Kusch.

Children, parents, and grandparents of all ages are encouraged to attend on their own or to share the experience together. Children and teens under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Future workshops are scheduled for April 14, May 12 (Celebrating our Mothers & Grandmothers), and June 16 (Celebrating our Fathers & Grandfathers). All workshops will be held in Laconia. You must register first by contacting Dan Kusch, Bereavement Care Coordinator, at 603-524-8444 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Red Cross issues appeal for more blood donations

MANCHESTER — Winter storms and the flu have resulted in a sharp reduction of blood donations. The Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need. Donors can make an appointment to donate this winter by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 800-733-2767.

Local blood drives scheduled in the coming weeks include:

  • Feb. 19, noon-5 p.m., Moultonborough Public Safety Building, 1035 Whittier Highway
  • Feb. 20, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Speare Memorial Hospital, 16 Hospital Rd., Plymouth
  • Feb. 21, 12:30-6 p.m., Franklin Savings Bank, 67 Laconia Rd., Tilton
  • Feb. 22, 2-7 p.m., Church of Latter Day Saints, 1225 Old North Main Street, Laconia
  • Feb. 22, 12:30-5:30 p.m., New Hampton Fire Department, 26 Intervail Dr., New Hampton
  • Feb. 22, 12:30-6 p.m., Plymouth State University, 24 Highland St., Plymouth
  • Feb. 23, 2-7 p.m., Woodside Building, 227 Ledges Dr., Laconia
  • Feb. 23, 12:30-6 p.m., Plymouth State University, 24 Highland St., Plymouth
  • Feb. 27, noon-5:30 p.m., Common Man Inn, 231 Main St., Plymouth
  • Feb. 28, noon-5 p.m., American Legion Post #15, 37 Main St., Ashland


Local VNA offers tips to help seniors avoid falling

LACONIA — Every year, millions of seniors are seen in emergency rooms and physicians' offices because they’ve taken a tumble. Sometimes the injuries are severe, like broken hips or dislocated joints, and sometimes we can see some horrific bruising. And sometimes a fall is more than a broken bone or a bruise – common complications include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, congestive heart failure, venous thromboembolism, arrhythmia, poor pain management, and pressure sores. So it's best to do absolutely everything possible to avoid nasty spills in the first place. The Central New Hampshire Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice offers the following suggestions.

Many falls can be eliminated with a little planning. Whether you are a senior or helping to care for one, the first thing to realize in fall prevention is the importance of removing tripping hazards. Number one among these? Area rugs. It is so easy for the rug to slip out from underneath a walker. Feet can get tangled up. Rugs can bunch, creating a tripping hazard. If possible, area rugs should be removed. If there is one that is a particular favorite, try to have it placed in an area of low traffic.

Electric cords and extension cords create the same potential accident situations. Always run the cords around the outside of the room and not in heavily trafficked areas, or maybe find a wireless solution. Another obstacle fairly common in many homes is clutter. This is the same risk as mentioned above, namely, massive tripping hazards. Try to keep walking areas clear.

Pets. Well, who can live without her cat or dog for company? But perhaps some obedience training can help. Try teaching the dog not to jump, and to always follow the owner (heel), even in the home and especially on stairs. This is good advice for staying in or for walking the dog. While walking outside, watch carefully for cracks in the sidewalk that are just ready to grab the toe of your shoe! And make sure the dog sits still and waits for the food bowl before diving in.

Low toilet seats for older knees can be a problem, but this one is easily remedied. The purchase of a raised toilet seat attached to the porcelain seat can work wonders. Some are just seats, while others have hand rails that help greatly with raising and lowering the body. The cost runs anywhere between $15 and $50, so a simple and affordable investment in you or your loved one’s long-term health.

Lighting can cause issues too. Try to keep walking areas well lit. Steep stairs, slopey driveways and unstable tables and chairs can also be treacherous. Just pay attention, replace what you can and be aware of the danger.