Survey Assessing Older Veterans’ Needs

Survey Assessing Older Veterans’ Needs

Photo by: Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks

A survey of the health, housing and lifestyle needs of Alabama’s older veterans was undertaken last fall in a joint effort of the University of Alabama’s Office of Military Families and Veterans and AARP Alabama.

AARP members who were identified as having prior service were surveyed in September. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are 360,000 veterans living in Alabama, and that 65 percent are age 45 or older, the group targeted in the survey.

“Our older veterans likely experience challenges around multiple domains, including behavioral health—from opioid and other substance misuse to suicide or suicide attempts,” said David L. Albright, an Army veteran who heads the university’s military families and veterans office.

The study focused on behavioral health, caregiving, food insecurity, homelessness and other issues that may emerge, Albright said. AARP expects to share the report this fall with partners serving veterans and military families.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to partner with and support Alabama AARP through the Office of Military Families and Veterans, which continues to be the leader in the state’s postsecondary space in coordinating and facilitating collaborative research, education and outreach across the state of Alabama among military families, veterans and the organizations serving them,” Albright said.