America’s veterans face unique challenges as they age. From the physical and emotional toll of being deployed to a combat zone to the transition back into civilian life, many may find themselves feeling isolated and alone.

According to the National Council on Aging, more than 11 million adults aged 60 and older have served in the military, representing over 15% of the over 60 population. These heroes have served in wars across the globe, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and even the Persian Gulf War.

Research has found that more than 2 in 5 (51%) of these veterans felt lonely or isolated at some point after they left the military. About one-third of these veterans have stated that they have just one or no close friends, which suggests limited social support.

Typical causes of loneliness and isolation

The various factors that influence social isolation among veterans can be complicated and be affected by age, possible military-related trauma, or PTSD, just to name a few. However, follow-up research has determined that there are three majorities of factors that generate feelings of loneliness and isolation for veterans.

  • Losing the bonds of friendship with fellow veterans: Typically, veterans spend long periods of time with their comrades forming strong bonds of friendship. The transition to civilian life can cause the sudden loss of these friendships leading to depression over the loss.
  • Physical or mental health issues: For those veterans who experienced physical injuries or depression or PTSD, it can be hard for them to reach out for help, thus creating a higher likelihood of being socially isolated.
  • Difficulty of civilian friends relating to them: One of the issues with transitioning to civilian life is not having people in their small social circle who can relate to their experiences. Support groups and services may be available, but they aren’t utilized due to distance or depression.

Without access to support services like those available while serving on active duty, many veterans struggle to stay engaged and healthy in their daily routines – especially as they age. If a veteran feels isolated, connecting them with suitable Companions can help fill that void and improve quality of life.

The need for interpersonal connections

Establishing connection and companionship can be extremely difficult for many adults over age 65, yet it is vital for an overall sense of happiness. Interpersonal connections can provide a much-needed source of solace, compassion and understanding. Even small gestures of kindness, such as an occasional phone call or visit, could bring significant joy and fulfillment to someone who lacks the opportunity to connect with others.

In fact, studies have shown that older citizens who are part of supportive relationships are more likely to be in good physical and mental health than those that lack these connections. Building meaningful relationships with family, friends, and Companions can go a long way to boost self-confidence and lift their spirits during difficult times.

The benefits of companionship

If your loved one is living in isolation, a Companion service specializing in social interaction in and out of the home can be a flexible and affordable option to provide valuable socialization and friendship when you, friends or family are unable to. Veterans can benefit from conversations and the opportunity to express their experiences and emotions with a compassionate ear.

By engaging in various activities, Companions can enhance the everyday life of veterans by:

  • Encouraging storytelling: Many veterans enjoy reminiscing about their youth and sharing their stories. Companions can ask them about their experiences and allow them to share their memories with others.
  • Encouraging them to give back: While veterans have already given so much, it is important for them to continue to give to others. Companions can encourage them to volunteer at a place where they can make a difference, boosting their confidence and sense of purpose.
  • Helping them find community: Military life provided a built-in community, and many veterans may miss that camaraderie once they leave service. Companions can assist them in finding a group where they can connect with others and share similar experiences.
  • Maintaining a routine: Numerous veterans are accustomed to structured routines and benefit from schedules. Companions can help them create a regular routine each day and inform them of the schedule. This can provide them with a sense of calm.

What you can do

As a nation, there are many ways we can come together to show our appreciation and gratitude for the contribution of aging vets. Simple acts of kindness such as checking in with veteran neighbors or family members, offering to do their shopping or mow the lawn, can make a big impact.

The most important thing is to support Veterans’ emotional and mental health. To cope with PTSD, depression, suicidal thoughts, hopelessness, anxiety, and other problems, numerous veterans require mental and emotional support. The VA provides mental health care to veterans and focuses on a recovery-oriented approach. Veterans can get primary care for mental illnesses or more intensive treatment in specialized mental health care if required.

Raising awareness about aging veterans’ challenges will help us all become more prepared to support this population as they transition into their later stages of life. By doing our part as individuals and working together as a community, we can honor our older military men and women for their commitment to our country and do our best to improve their everyday lives.

The Maxim at Home team is here to help

Do you need help with a loved one?  Then consider Maxim at Home’s homemaker and companionship services. Our team of friendly, compassionate Companions takes great pride in serving people in their own community who need light assistance with daily chores, some company and conversation, or convenient transportation for errands, appointments, or trips to the store.


Explore our services to learn more about our:

  • Homemaker and companionship services
  • Easy-to-use scheduling platform
  • “Best Value” service pricing
  • Only 1-hour service minimum


Sign-up in seconds to enjoy free 24hr access to our on-demand scheduling platform, where you can view our team of vetted compassionate companions.


If you have questions about our services, please feel free to call 1-844-624-5646 to speak to one of our caring service Advisors.


Reference Links:

National Institute on Aging – Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks

National Library of Medicine: US veterans and their unique issues: enhancing health care professional awareness

National Library of Medicine: US veterans and their unique issues: enhancing health care professional awareness

National Council on Aging: A Profile of Older U.S. Veterans

Disabled American Veterans:  Challenges Veterans Face

National Library of Medicine: Friendship in Later Life: A Research Agenda

U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs – Mental Health