Nearly half of Pennsylvania's 1 million veterans are 65 or older. In Montgomery County, a program is sending health aides to the homes of veterans to help them avoid moving into nursing facilities.

 

Robert Haines, 84, served in the Navy from 1948 until 1952. During the Korean War, Haines worked on auxiliary air stations. While he didn't suffer injuries in the war, he has a bad left knee and is blind in one eye.

Twice a week, aides from Home Instead Senior Care visit to help him with things he can't do for himself anymore.

Care covers the most basic needs, said Stacey Petroff, a spokeswoman.

"They are able to get the help in their homes with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, toileting and, that way, they can age in place," she said. "Which Home Instead Senior Care firmly believes seniors who age in place do the best."

Haines said he is very pleased with the service.

"She does my laundry for me because I have a very hard time getting up and down stairs. They take care of my kitchen, my bathroom, my laundry, strip and make my bed each morning they are here," he said. "It's quite a good service and it helps me quite a bit because of the blindness in one eye and the bad left leg."

The program, paid for by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, isn't open to everyone who spent time in the military. To be eligible, veterans must have documented medical conditions and have served in war-time duty. Spouses of deceased combat veterans also qualify.


Editor's note: In a previous version of this article, the program sending health aides to the homes of veterans was misnamed. The program is called Home Instead Senior Care.