Many independent living and assisted living facilities across the nation are celebrating our nation's Veterans today. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 37 percent of Veterans are in the 65-plus age bracket, compared to just 13 percent of the general population. By 2015, the number of Veterans in the 65 to 84-year age bracket is expected to increase, due to aging Korean and Vietnam Veterans. Veterans have stories to share

Likewise, many long-term care facilities are experiencing higher numbers of Veteran residents as this population ages, so Veterans Day is often a major celebratory event among assisted living, independent living facilities and nursing homes. All residents get in on the fun of honoring those who have served our country, as well as taking the opportunity to learn about history.

Ashby Ponds is home to more than 150 Veterans

Jessica McKay, Public Affairs Manager for Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living property in Northern Virginia, says Ashby Ponds is home to more than 150 Veterans (of just over 600 total residents). Ashby Ponds residents are mostly World War II Veterans and Korean Veterans.  Ashby Ponds is a gated, independent living community with a medical center, fitness center, and aquatic center on campus.

McKay's advice to caregivers of Veterans is to take the time to talk with them and learn from their experiences. Many aging Veterans have incredible stories to share, some of historical significance, and some even have historical documents in their possession. In her experience, Veterans are always willing to get involved in community activities and are usually open to sharing their experiences.

Ashby Ponds makes an effort to recognize Veterans every year on Veterans Day, but it's important to recognize the contribution and sacrifice these brave individuals have made for our country throughout the year.  Because Ashby Ponds is located in a highly populated military area, there are several local Veterans groups who come together for area events celebrating the selfless sacrifices these brave men and women have made – and continue to make – for our country every day.

How are you celebrating Veterans Day?

Whether your facility has plans to commemorate the years of service Veterans have dedicated to our country today, or if you have hundreds or just a few Veterans on your campus, take a few moments today to thank a Veteran in your midst and ask them to share their stories with you. Most are willing to open up, and merely asking is a priceless gift that shows you care and value the sacrifices they've made.

How does your facility plan to celebrate Veterans Day today? We'd love to hear how you plan to honor the brave men and women who have fought for our country in your community!

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