Care Services Still Lacking for Veterans
Defining necessary health care for veterans can be almost impossible. Everyone has unique needs. They might be young but have mental and emotional scars from their time overseas, or they could be older and have health care needs related to aging, as well as years of military experience and trauma.
The basic requirements of veteran health care are based on the individual and their physical, emotional and mental needs and experiences. Females are the fastest growing segment of military veterans, and the Veterans Administration has recognized this trend and incorporated a specific health care program to meet their needs.
Health care can include the following injuries, issues and medical fields:
- Brain trauma/injuries
- Chronic pain
- Substance abuse
- Hazardous materials exposure
- Mental health
- Geriatric care
- Home medical equipment
Despite all the available support, veterans are still suffering from lack of support and adequate medical care. Confusing laws, lack of access to facilities and physical or mental disabilities or issues caused by their service can result in people slipping through the cracks of the VA system.
The rising rate of homelessness and poverty among veterans is one of the primary causes of this lack of care, as most VA services and benefits require a permanent home address. Many veterans are unable to work because of injuries incurred during their service. Homelessness and the attendant conditions such as malnutrition, depression and violence can also have a profound negative effect on health outcomes for veterans and foster continuing problems.
Eligibility for the benefits and services is also a major problem for veterans, as the laws are confusing and always changing. There are different rules for different wars and different medical conditions, and available benefits are also effected by family income. Furthermore, the application process can be long and involved, which can cause delays in treatment with serious repercussions for some veterans. Many veterans lack even basic medical care.