A great caregiver can come from almost any background. But when you’ve spent twenty years in home care, it becomes clear that some professional backgrounds do really prepare caregivers for working with seniors.

At Visiting Angels, some of our most successful home care providers come from military backgrounds. Through their experience in the armed forces, our veteran franchise owners have developed the skills and the character that distinguish them as quality care providers.

In fact, we’ve found that veterans make such exceptional care providers that we’ve become a part of the VetFran network. Through VetFran, we help military veterans start their own home care businesses as part of the Visiting Angels family.

Here are just a few of the reasons why we’ve found that veterans make exceptional care providers, and why Visiting Angels seeks out veterans as agency owners:

“No Man Left Behind”

Military service teaches a lot to those in uniform, but perhaps the most valuable thing it teaches is loyalty to those who rely on your service. As a member of a military outfit, you and your fellow soldiers are dependent on one another. All it takes is one weak link for the chain to fall apart.

So, it’s little surprise that when veterans become caregivers, their loyalty to their clients is often second to none. Veteran care providers know that their clients depend on them — for comfort, for safety, and for companionship. They also understand the weight of that responsibility, often in a way that other care providers don’t. As a result, we’ve seen veterans go the extra mile for their clients time and time again, showing seniors the same loyalty that they once showed to other members of their unit.

Getting the Job Done

When you need a job done — and done right — there’s no one better to call on than a veteran. Veterans have trained and served under conditions few civilians will ever experience. Those experiences allow them to develop the skills and discipline they need to tackle almost any tough job once their tour of duty is complete.

In the caregiving industry, this can make all the difference. Caregiving might not always be a complicated job, but it’s one that requires patience, discipline, and a willingness to do what needs to be done. Whether that means pulling a twelve-hour overnight shift, helping clients cope with physical or memory limitations, or treating seniors with compassion and dignity — no matter their difficulties — you can count on veterans to approach care work with a committed and motivated attitude.

Veterans Helping Veterans

According to Veterans Affairs, there are currently almost 20 million veterans living in the United States. Over 9.4 million of those veterans are 65 years of age or older. That means nearly 1 in 5 American seniors is a military veteran.

In order to live comfortably and safely, many veterans require some form of personal care. Many receive care in the comfort of home, while others are cared for in an assisted living center or within a nursing facility.

No matter where they are cared for, having a veteran as their caregiver can often make a major difference in the effectiveness of their care.

This is something that Visiting Angels touched on in a conversation we had with Will Bruck. Will is the owner of the Visiting Angels office located in Monroe, MI. He is a three-tour veteran of the U.S. Army. Will has now dedicated his life to providing care for seniors, with a specialized focus on veteran care. In our conversation, Will described how his service background allows him to connect with veterans in a way that other caregivers — and even veterans’ family members — often can’t.

“I’ll go to family’s homes and I’ll talk to their mom or dad, and afterward, the children will say, ‘I’ve never heard dad say that stuff.’ It opens up a whole new door, and they realize ‘This is the company I need to go with.’”

Thanks to that personal connection and understanding, Will has been able to provide Monroe County’s veterans with a level of care they would not have been able to otherwise receive. Veterans make up nearly half of Will’s clientele, and he has since opened a second office in nearby Adrian, MI.

Will’s agency is one of several Visiting Angels locations that provides in-home senior care to veterans, both through standard care programs and as a registered caregiver with his local VA. If you are looking for a caregiver for a loved one in your area, we invite you to contact your local Visiting Angels office or call 800.665.4189 to contact the agency closest to where the care is needed.

Larry Meigs, Visiting Angels

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