Resources for Older Veterans
As you age, you continue to have new life experiences and can become an expert in resiliency and coping. However, later life can also bring challenges. You may experience vision or hearing loss or a chronic medical condition that limits your ability to do the things you want to do. You also may experience difficult changes in your roles, responsibilities, or relationships, or face financial or housing issues. In addition, you may need to help others or find that you need more help yourself.
On average, Veterans are older than the general U.S. population: almost half are age 65 or older. Although older Veterans bring many strengths and life lessons to coping with challenges that are common in later life, some older Veterans face longstanding or emerging mental health conditions. They may experience depression, anxiety, distressing memories related to military service, or stress related to health concerns including pain, sleep troubles, memory problems, or difficulty getting around. These issues may also contribute to misuse of alcohol or drugs.
VA has many programs to support older Veterans and their families and caregivers. Veterans may access online resources and integrated mental health services across health care programs. VA also provides a range of specialized geriatric services for Veterans and families to help them cope with complex medical, cognitive, and mental health conditions in later life.
In a Veterans’ Own Words
After returning from combat in Vietnam, Tim had nightmares and flashbacks and didn’t feel like himself. Discover how Tim began a mental health journey at VA, receiving treatment that made his memories of the war a much smaller and more manageable part of his life.