Older veterans are especially vulnerable to COVID-19

Veterans are found to be especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and related economic impacts. Veterans tend to be older—in 2017 the median age of veterans was 64—and have often been exposed to toxins or chemicals during their service that contribute to higher rates of respiratory illnesses. As of May 22, there have been 1,100 deaths out of the 12,979 cases of COVID-19 in Veterans Administration care. VA Hospitals tend to be understaffed, resulting in reduced access to health care for veterans. This situation, along with many mental health facilities temporarily closing, has reduced access to mental health care for veterans. Veteran calls to suicide hotline had increased by 12% as of March 22, still early in the crisis. Other difficulties facing veterans include delayed disability benefits, job losses, homelessness, and complications for those in the justice system. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

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