5 Services That Make Life Easier for a Veteran
As a member of the armed forces, you served your country with honor and sacrificed much of your own personal freedom to protect others. Now that you’re retired, injured, or both, you may wonder if society has forgotten that sacrifice. The good news is that there are numerous companies and organizations out there that want to help you make life easier, healthier, and less stressful.
The following are five great services to incorporate into your daily life to make things more efficient and enjoyable.
Concierge Services: You may be familiar with the concierge at a hotel; it’s that little desk in the lobby where you go to get help with a wide range of needs. The concierge can help you find a good place to eat, get your dress shirt pressed, or call a taxi for you. Today, many companies look to say thank you to veterans by offering virtual concierge services and discounts to those who have served and their family members. For example:
- Whole Foods Veterans Concierge: The grocery store chain provides personal shopping, custom gifts, floral and gift basket delivery, office and home pantry stocking, special events and custom catering for U.S. veterans.
- Veterans Advantage: For around $5 a month, this service provides a range of benefits, services, and shopping discounts from thousands of partner companies, along with a VIP Concierge service. All veterans who have served in any branch or reserve branch, as well as next of kin, are eligible.
- Disabled Veterans National Foundation: This organization has compiled a long list of agencies that not only assist with transportation, but also help with all sorts of expenses and needs of daily life for disabled veterans (from vehicle repair to utilities to disaster relief).
Meal Delivery: A network of more than 5,000 independently run organizations make up Meals on Wheels America, a service that provides regular meals to seniors whose mobility makes it difficult for them to leave home to acquire food. Not only do Meals on Wheels volunteers regularly deliver healthy food, but they also become an expected visit and a safety check. Some local chapters, like the one in Austin, Texas, offer a special “Veteran Services Program,” aimed at helping veterans understand and navigate the range of benefits and resources available through the VA and other government resources. Find your local Meals on Wheels.
Grocery Pickup Services: For veterans who still have access to transportation but have difficulty navigating a store – or perhaps a caregiver family member with limited spare time for shopping – a grocery pickup program can be a huge asset. Several national chains, like Walmart and Safeway, allow you to shop and pay online with a virtual shopping cart, select a pick-up time appointment (typically the following day), pull up to a designated parking spot, and have your groceries loaded into your car for you.
Grocery Delivery Services: Other stores, like Whole Foods Market and Costco, use a service called Instacart to deliver groceries to their customers’ door within an hour. Instacart sends its hired shoppers into the store to select the groceries from your list, then delivers them to your home by their hired drivers. Thanks to an agreement with the grocery stores, shoppers are able to shop at in-store prices.
Virtual Medical Assistant: A app from the VA allows you to download and store on your smartphone all your medical records, prescriptions, emergency contacts, records from previous appointments and reminders for upcoming ones, and even your vital signs. Called the My HealtheVet’s Blue Button feature, this app allows you to view, print, or download and store information from your personal health record (PHR). You can also use it to access more specific information that VA/DoD has added into your health record such as lab tests results, VA Immunizations, VA “problem list” (all active health conditions and symptoms) and even clinical notes that your health care team has recorded during your appointments or hospital stays.
By taking advantage of these services, you can spend your time and energy on enjoying your senior years with friends, family, or favorite hobbies. These companies know that you have given so much to our country, and are happy to be able to repay you in some small way.
Written by Megan Hammons