Conference Abstracts

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Veteran health and wellbeing: more than a clinical response required

McDonald, T. & Russell, F. (ACKNOWLEDGE Turale, M. (who presented the session due to scheduling clash)), 2015

ICN Conference, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Background: Veterans connectedness with the general community and access to the unique culture of ex-service personnel is valued by them and their families. Difficulties faced by returned service personnel relate to being able to fit back into the community from which they originated and where this cannot be achieved there is often a feeling of alienation and distrust that can place a shadow over their civilian lives and relationships. Acknowledgement of their service and facilitating access to appropriate services can support them as they age.

Objective: The research investigates experiences of veterans in accessing safe, timely and effective health and aged care services in Australia.

Methods: Over 3,000 veterans aged 55+ years were surveyed about their major concerns in accessing appropriate health and aged care services. Issues important to veterans were canvassed in relation to having their special needs status acknowledged by service providers.

Results: Overall respondents expressed various levels of satisfaction with service access however issues in relation to access and transactions with care services were identified that can guide health service providers in providing holistic support for ageing veterans.

Conclusions: This research identifies factors affecting veterans' ability to access and negotiate appropriate and timely services in Australia and have their special needs acknowledged and met. Hurdles relate to geographic location, understanding of service availability and eligibility, waiting times for specialist appointments and support for health maintenance

CITATION McDonald, T. & Turale, M. Veteran Health and Wellbeing: More than a Clinical Response is Required. International Council of Nurses Conference and CNR. Seoul, Republic of Korea. 19-23 June 2015.

NOTE My paper was presented by Megan Turale as I had been scheduled to give two presentations at the same time in different rooks.

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