The University of Alabama Office for Military Families and Veterans is partnering with AARP Alabama to assess the needs of the state’s older military veterans to develop and deliver outreach and educational interventions.
The survey will focus on AARP members in Alabama that identify as having prior military service. AARP Alabama has more than 440,000 members, many of whom are older adults. Nationwide, approximately 4 million – nearly 10 percent – of AARP members have served in America’s military.
Results are expected by the end of summer and will help AARP strengthen its ongoing efforts to connect military veterans to various resources and services. AARP expects to share the report later this fall and with partners serving veterans and military families.
AARP also provides relevant news and programming about healthcare, finances and government benefits to the state’s veteran population.
Dr. David L. Albright, Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health in UA’s School of Social Work and director of the Office for Military Families and Veterans, said the study focuses on behavioral health, caregiving, food insecurity, homelessness and other issues that may emerge.
“Our older veterans likely experience challenges around multiple domains, including behavioral health – from opioid and other substance misuse to suicide or suicide attempts,” Albright said. “And, yet, often the face of this type of complex problem is a younger face, which is not necessarily consistent with data that shows that Alabama’s veterans are mostly over the age of 50 years.”