The first choice in healthcare for all our aging neighbors is to stay at home. Sadly, the cost of in-home care can be unaffordable for many families on fixed incomes – especially our veterans. And, while Tennessee is honored to have over half-a-million veterans living in our state, many of these heroes have found themselves struggling financially after a severe sickness, injury or hospitalization.
To learn what is being done to address this challenge, the Community Paper spoke with Jeff Boynton, the Executive Director of CommuniServe of Nashville. Jeff shared that, “The biggest gap in care for our veterans is the lack of home care they receive as they transition from the hospital back into their home environment. In fact, last year nearly one-in-four veterans did not receive the care they needed once they left the hospital. This dramatically impacts our veterans, as research shows that when home care is provided, the health outcome improves significantly for those who have chronic conditions such as diabetes, COPD or PTSD.”
Jeff went on to explain that, “CommuniServe is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was formed as an alternative funding resource to raise money for home care assistance to Veterans and other heroes who do not have the means to pay for it themselves. And, once we’ve determined an individual’s eligibility - based on income, assets and need - a care giver is assigned to that individual and provided by one of our partnering non-medical home care agencies or through our volunteer programs.”
"...last year nearly one-in-four veterans did not receive the care they needed once they left the hospital."
We asked Jeff what specific services were provided? He stated that, “Each assigned care-giver focuses on a Veteran’s safety, good health practices, bathing and dressing, meal preparation, medication reminders, light housekeeping and their recovery in the home.” He further pointed out that, “Home recovery empowers the Veteran to take charge of his/her treatment and live a full and meaningful life. This approach focuses on the individual's strengths and gives respect, honor, and hope to our nation's heroes.”
CommuniServe is currently looking for volunteers, as well as individual, corporate and foundation gifts or grants. A gift of just $240 can provide 12 hours of care for a veteran in need. For more information, visit CommuniServeNashville.org or call 615-410-2293.