(August 7, 2019) Catherine Read sits down with Michael D’Ostilio and Donna Newman-Robinson, ambassadors for the Veterans Outreach program for AARP.
In the first segment of the show D’Ostilio talks about how the outreach program can assist veterans in finding the resources they need as they age. He points out that Virginia has a large veteran population. Approximately 726,000 veterans live in the area, with about two-thirds of them over the age of fifty. The AARP Veteran outreach program aims to help those who have served our country.
Veterans can face unique challenges that stem from their service to our country. AARP recognizes these differences, and has created the ambassador program to help navigating everything from healthcare to caregiving to transportation. For example, they have a program called Home Fit, which helps veterans adapt their home for aging in place.
D’Ostilio points out that AARP also offers a variety of presentations programs on everything from brain health to de-cluttering, in an effort to assist veterans through the aging process. They also offer assistance to family members when it comes time to have the difficult conversations about putting a plan in place in order to ensure their loved one’s safety. There are resources on a variety of topics, including benefits related to the VA, Medicare coverage, safe driving, ensuring finances are taken care of, and maintaining their homes.
In the second segment, Catherine speaks with Donna Newman-Robinson, a retired Army nurse, who is now a professional coach. She works with veterans to help them figure out their next steps in life. After spending 20 years of her life serving in armed forces, she intimately understands the challenges of ending a military career.
Her coaching is based around the theme of “the next mission is you”. As people are living longer and staying employed, she helps them navigate this terrain, and find meaningful work after their military service. She looks for opportunities to facilitate more partnering with veteran service organizations, with the goal of connecting people to the resources that they need to thrive.