by David Thielker, CalVet Homes Division
Once a person’s need for food, shelter, medical care, comfort and companionship are met, the need for well-being becomes increasingly important. With anywhere from 60 to 850 aged and/or disabled veterans living in eight veterans home communities across the state, it’s essential to offer activities, celebrations, engagements, and events that allow them to stay sharp of mind and involved in spirit.
One of the hallmarks of our California Veterans Home system is the incredible community support we receive and the wide range of activities available for our veterans. Because we have veterans at varying levels of care, we work hard to ensure that there are activities available to suit all of their interests and ability levels.
Recreational and entertainment offerings range from an in-house library of books, movies and magazines to excursions to state parks, ball games and performances. While the most popular activity in our veterans homes is weekly bingo, our residents are always ready to welcome visits and engagements from local veterans organizations, performers and sports players. In fact, several NFL teams visit our veterans homes regularly. Our veteran residents also especially enjoy the ongoing activities that enable them to learn a new skill or perfect a hobby they have long enjoyed such as art, woodworking and even producing a television program through our KVET closed-circuit station in Yountville.
Most of these activities are funded by a set of Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Operating Funds. The money comes from the estates of veterans who have passed away in one of our veterans homes and then may only be used to support programs that promote the physical and mental well-being of residents living at the homes.
CalVet is proposing new regulations that will apply to the administration of MWR funds at all of our eight California Veterans Homes.
You can find the full text of the proposed MWR regulations on CalVet’s website.
A public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, May 4, 2018, at CalVet Headquarters, Medal of Honor Hall, 1227 O Street, Sacramento. Residents of the homes may attend the public hearing via videoconference at each of the veterans homes.