SOLUTIONS FOR DIFFICULT TIMES

This winter, there will be many Veterans facing hard times who may have difficulty getting their basic needs met. Unemployment, chronic health issues and financial problems or even several of these issues at once— can make life a challenge.

The Veterans Administration is there to help!

The VA offers eligible Veterans a variety of services to help:

Compensation for those with service-connected disabilities

Education and training to make Veterans more competitive in the workforce

Employment services to open up new career possibilities

Home financing and foreclosure prevention assistance

Home modification grants to accommodate disabilities

Physical and mental health care services

Pension benefits for low-income Veterans and their families

See what VA has to offer at VA.gov/Explore. The VA is there to help Veterans live a fuller life. Please take advantage of the services they offer…the services you’ve earned!

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THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS ALSO FLU SEASON

It’s that time of year again: time to get a flu shot. Flu shots are available for Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. It’s no joke, having the flu can be serious. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are hospitalized by flu and thousands die from it. Certain people are at a higher risk, including young children, adults over 50 and people with chronic illness, such as diabetes, HIV, heart, kidney or lung disease.
The flu virus spreads easily. When a person with the flu sneezes, coughs, the flu virus can spread into the air landing on surfaces as far away as six feet. The virus can live on these surfaces up to 48 hours. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you can become infected. It can take a few days for symptoms to first appear
You can help protect yourself. VA suggests taking these six steps to prevent getting and spreading the flu.
• Step 1: Get your flu shot. It’s the most effective step to protecting yourself from getting the flu. (You can also get the vaccine as a nasal spray if shots make you nervous).
• Step 2: Know how flu is spread. Remember, you may be able to spread the flu virus to others one day before you even begin to feel sick and up to five days after getting sick.
• Step 3: Know the symptoms of flu. These include: a fever (usually high), muscle aches and pains, headache, feeling tired and weak, chest discomfort, and coughing. People with flu may also have a stuffy nose and sore throat.
• Step 4: Keep your hands and surfaces around you clean. Clean hands before eating or preparing food, before caring for someone who is sick, before touching your face, mouth or eyes. Clean your hands after using the bathroom, after caring for someone who is sick, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
• Step 5: Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use tissues to stop germ droplets that spread from coughs and sneezes. If tissues are not available, raise your arm and cover your face with your upper sleeve.
Remember to dispose of tissues in waste baskets and to clean your hands afterwards.
• Step 6: Stay home when you are sick. Treat the flu by getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, and using medicines that reduce fevers.
The VA has a wealth of flu information and resources to help you stay healthy. Visit the Veterans Health Library or through My HealtheVet for video, illustrated education and more.

THE MICHIGAN VETERANS TRUST FUND – EMERGENCY GRANT PROGRAM

When circumstances leave you with a temporary financial emergency (you will have to show that you can meet future financial obligations), then perhaps the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund’s Emergency Grant Program can help.

Eligibility criteria includes:

• An Honorable Discharge
• 180 day of service during a period of war, or
• 180 days of active duty with award to Armed Forces/Navy Expeditionary Medal, or
• Less than 180 days due to service-incurred disability, and
• Dependents can apply if the veteran is eligible under certain circumstances

You’ll apply in the county where you reside. You can call the State Office for county information at 517-373-3130 for more information.

You’ll need to call and make an appointment. Bring in the following information:

• Military discharge document (DD214 or other)
• Proof of Residence
• Documents for Dependents
• Proof of Income and Expenses
• Other documents depending on the types of assistance needed

While the trust fund won’t help everyone who needs assistance, it may be just the ticket to get you back on firm ground.

Take The Time for a Medication Review…

It is important to review the medications prescribed by VA that you are currently taking and those prescribed by your community physician.
By reviewing your meds with your VA provider you can avoid any negative drug reactions or interactions.
Be sure to mention any over the counter medications you are taking such as vitamins and supplements.
Consider registering on MyHealtheVet to keep track of your medications. Go to the “Pharmacy” tab and clicking on “My Medications + Supplements.”
Be sure you know:

• Why you’re taking this medication
• How long you need to keep taking it
• What time of day should you take it
• What side effects might you expect to see
• What should you do if you miss a dose
• How should you store the medicine
Remember to:

• Take the medication as instructed
• Report any problems to your provider
• Tell your provider whenever you have a change in your health
• Carry a list of all your medications with you at all times. This can be very helpful in emergencies
• Update the list every time you get any new medication including any over the counter medicine