Vietnam Veterans – Unique Needs and Benefits

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The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act was signed into law in 2017. This act was designed as an official recognition of March 29th each year as the “National Vietnam War Veterans Day.” Veterans of the Vietnam War are aging and many now require additional assistance to perform their everyday activities. It is important to understand their unique needs in order to care for them respectfully and effectively.

Wounds From the War

The Vietnam War was the one of the longest wars fought by the United States, and many soldiers came home with injuries that affect them to this day.  Over 153,000 soldiers were wounded, and more than 58,000 members of the US military lost their lives in this war.

Many of the disabilities affecting Vietnam vets today were caused by exposure to herbicide and defoliant Agent Orange. Other injuries occurred due to equipment and machinery, exposure to loud noise, and contact with a variety of other chemicals during service. The Veterans Administration recommends that Vietnam Veterans be tested for Hepatitis C since they are also at high risk for this infection.

Benefits for Veterans

Fortunately, there are a number of benefits available to Vietnam veterans and their children, including:

  • Training and education
  • Disability compensation
  • Monetary benefits
  • Health care, and assistance with home or facility care
  • Insurance coverage
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Home loans
  • Burial services

After Agent Orange exposure, many children were born with birth defects, such as spina bifida. Many children of women veterans of the Vietnam war were born with birth defects including congenital heart disease, hydrocephalus, and cleft lip and cleft palate.

For access to veterans’ benefits, an application needs to be submitted to a VA regional office. An online application is available, as well as local services to help veterans find the support and medical care that is needed. The VA benefits application process can be completed by veterans, current service members, families, and accredited representatives (also called Veterans Service Officers).

At Windward Life Care, we are here to help you in finding the right resources based on your needs. Whether you are seeking medical support or you are interested in VA benefits, you are welcome to contact us for information and assistance.

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Chronic Kidney Disease – What Is Your Risk?

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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a growing public health issue, with an estimated 10% of the worldwide population affected by this condition. This lasting damage to the kidneys gets worse over time, especially without lifestyle changes and treatments to slow the disease. World Kidney Day is March 14th; this day is designated to spread information and knowledge about kidney health.

Your kidneys work hard to keep you alive each day. If the kidneys fail, then it is necessary to have a transplant or receive dialysis treatments several times a week. It is important to take good care of them, helping you maintain optimal health in all stages of life.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

In the beginning, you might not recognize that your kidneys are struggling. It is common for the symptoms to start slowly and get worse with time. When the symptoms are recognized, it might be that your kidneys are already severely damaged.

If your kidneys are struggling, common symptoms include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Itching
  • Reduced hunger
  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Changes in urine output
  • Difficulty catching your breath
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting and nausea

The best thing you can do is contact a doctor as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms.

Risk Factors for Kidney Disease

Genetics and age play a role in the development of kidney disease. For example, if you are over the age of 60 and have a family member with kidney disease, then your risk is high. Doctors have also found that other health issues increase the risk of CKD:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, don’t overlook the importance of managing the disease to keep your kidneys healthy. Lifestyle changes and proper treatment can improve overall health and have a positive impact on your kidney health as well.

Do you need help finding the right health resources and medical care? At Windward Life Care, we are working hard to ensure that you have the support needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Contact us to learn about the services that are available.

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