Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 9, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 12


 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 9, 2024 




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By Steve Sciurba

Caregiving is a noble endeavor, often fueled by love and compassion for a family member or 
friend in need. However, the responsibilities of caregiving can also lead to significant emotional 
and physical stress for those providing care. Recognizing and addressing caregiver stress is 
crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of both caregivers and their loved ones.

According to experts, caregiver stress can manifest in various ways, including feeling 
overwhelmed, experiencing changes in sleep patterns or weight, and struggling with feelings 
of anger or sadness. Physical symptoms such as headaches and other health problems can also 
arise as a result of prolonged stress. Left unaddressed, caregiver stress can lead to serious health 
issues, including depression, anxiety, and increased risk of chronic diseases.

Fortunately, there are steps caregivers can take to manage stress effectively. One key strategy 
is to ask for and accept help from others. Creating a support network of family, friends, and 
community resources can provide much-needed assistance with caregiving tasks and offer 
emotional support to caregivers.

Setting realistic goals and prioritizing self-care are also essential aspects of managing caregiver 
stress. Caregivers should focus on what they can do, break tasks into manageable steps, and 
say no to additional responsibilities when necessary. Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining 
a healthy diet, and getting adequate sleep are vital for sustaining physical and emotional 

Additionally, seeking out support groups and social connections can provide caregivers with 
opportunities to share experiences, receive encouragement, and learn coping strategies from 
others in similar situations. Professional support from healthcare providers or counselors is also 
available for caregivers who may be experiencing significant stress or mental health concerns.

In conclusion, while caregiving can be rewarding, it is essential for caregivers to prioritize their 
own well-being in order to continue providing effective care to their loved ones. By recognizing 
the signs of caregiver stress and implementing strategies to manage it, caregivers can ensure 
they are better equipped to meet the challenges of caregiving while maintaining their own 
health and happiness.


Dear Savvy Senior:

What types of funeral benefits are available to old 
veterans? My 83-year-old father, who has Alz-heimer’s 
disease, served during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Planning Ahead

Dear Planning:

Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration actually offers a varie-
ty of underutilized burial benefits to veterans as well as their spouses and dependents. 

Most U.S. veterans (both combat and non-combat) who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge 
are eligible for burial benefits. To verify your dad’s discharge, you’ll need a copy of his DD Form 
214 “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.” If you don’t have it, you can re-quest 
online at 

Here’s a rundown of some of the different benefits that are available to veterans that die a non-
service related death. 

Military Cemetery Benefits

If your dad’s eligible and would like to be buried in one of the 155 national or 119 state, territory 
or tribal-operated cemeteries (see, the VA provides a number of benefits 
at no cost to the family, including: a gravesite; opening and closing of the grave and perpetual 
gravesite care; a government headstone or marker; a United States burial flag that can be used to 
drape the casket or accompany the urn; and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. 

If your dad is cremated, his remains will be buried or inurned in the same manner as casketed 

But be aware that funeral or cremation arrangements and costs are not taken care of by the VA. 
They are the responsibility of the veteran’s family, but some veteran’s survivors may be eligible for 
burial allowances. 

The VA also offers a memorial web page called the Veterans Legacy Memorial for any veteran 
buried in a national, state, territorial or tribal cemetery. This allows families to post pictures and 
stories of their loved one online as a way to remember and honor their service.

If you’re interested in this option, the VA has a pre-need burial eligibility determination program 
to help you plan ahead before your dad passes. See 
or call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.

Private Cemetery Benefits

The VA also provides benefits to veterans buried in private cemeteries. If your dad chooses this 
option, the VA benefits include a free government headstone or grave marker, or a medallion 
that can be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker; a burial flag; and a 
Presidential Memorial Certificate. 

Funeral or cremation arrangements and costs are again the responsibility of the family, and there 
are no benefits offered to spouses and dependents that are buried in private cemeteries.

Military Funeral Honors

Another popular benefit available to all eligible veterans buried in either a national or private 
cemetery is a military funeral honors ceremony. This includes an honor guard detail of at least 
two uniformed military persons, folding and presenting the U.S. burial flag to the veteran’s sur-
vivors, and the playing of Taps.

The funeral provider you choose will be able to assist you with all VA burial requests. Depending 
on what you want, certain forms may need to be completed which are always better to be done in 

For a complete rundown of burial and memorial benefits, eligibility details and required forms 

Burial Allowances

In addition to the burial benefits, some veteran’s survivors may also qualify for a $948 burial al-
lowance and $948 for a plot to those who choose to be buried in a private cemetery. And $231 for 
a headstone or grave marker allowance. To find out if your dad is eligible or to apply, see

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


The older I get, the more I 
wake up not knowing what 
day it is. That is particularly 
true on Mondays. My favorite day of the 
week is Sunday. I enjoy attending church, 
fellowshipping with other Chris-tians, and, 
of course, the Sunday worship services. I 
enjoy Sunday morning and evening like no 
other time of the week.

Since I became a Christian about 65 years 
ago, I have only missed a Sunday service 
when I was sick or had some emergency. 
Sunday is the most important day of the 
week for me, and it has been for years. I don’t 
see it changing anytime soon.

As much as I love Sunday, I can’t say the 
same about Monday. Sunday is filled with 
joy and, rejoicing and delightful fellowship. 
I get up each Sunday morning with great 
expectations. Monday is a different story, 
filled with gloom, doom, and a “What day 
is it?” mentality.

When I wake up on Monday morning, I 
often don’t remember what day it is. Monday 
is the kind of day that I can’t remember 
anything that I’ve done for the week because 
I haven’t done any-thing for the week yet. 
I often forget it’s the first day of the week. 
Confusion seems to be my partner.

Tuesday is not so bad because I can somehow 
remember the day, some of the things I did 
on Monday, and my plans for the rest of the 
week. But on Monday, I have to start the 
week all over again, and who has the energy 
to do that?

I understand that Saturday is the day we 
prepare for Sunday. I get that, and I do it 
every week. There should be some kind of 
law making Monday a day to recover from 
Sunday’s activities and prepare for the week 

Often, I’ll wake up on Monday morning, 
look at The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage, and say very soberly, “What 
day is it?” Usually, she looks at me and 
says sarcastically, “I don’t know; check 
your calendar.” By Wednesday, I will be 
in my regular work mode and get up every 
morning eager to start work-ing on my 
weekly plans.

I’ve had a thought along this line. 
Sometimes, I’m going to sleep all day on 
Monday, get up Tues-day morning, and see 
if I remember what day it is. That might help 
me understand all this non-sense I wallow 
in every week.

I need to be very careful along this line. 
For example, if The Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage knew I got up on Monday 
morning not knowing what my plans were 
for the day, she may make those plans for 
me. Believe me; she knows how to plan out 
every minute of every day.

That’s one reason I need a calendar to 
schedule my plans for the week. It doesn’t 
matter if I finish all those plans or not. It 
only matters that The Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage sees I have scheduled work for 

The problem is that on Monday morning, 
when I get up, I’m not even sure what day 
it is, and there is a certain danger that The 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage may 
come to my rescue.

After all these years, you would think I 
would have discovered a better way to plan 
my days.

The problem is that since my retirement, I 
have moved my office out of the church and 
into our home. When my office was in the 
church, I could get up Monday morning 
and say, “I gotta get to the church office 
and get started on my work for the week.” I 
then could figure out what I was going to do 
for the day and the week ahead of me. That 
worked for many years.

I must say The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage has taken advantage of this 
weakness of mine. On a Monday morning, 
when I get up and shuffle out to the kitchen, 
she greets me by saying, “What plans do you 
have for today?”

At that time, I usually mumble and confess 
that I don’t know. Then she says, “That’s 
good be-cause we need to go across town 
and pick up a few things.” Where she got the 
“we,” I don’t know.

After hearing this for a few years, I 
discovered she was talking about a whole 
day of shopping. Who knew?

Maybe I could plan better for Monday if I 
didn’t get so excited about Sunday. Perhaps 
I could have some things on my “to-do list” 
that would occupy me for the whole day. Of 
course, even if I have such a list on Monday 
morning when I get up, I sometimes can’t 
even remember my name.

It will be a shocking Monday when I get up 
very lucid, remember my name, and have a 
plan for the day all in my head. I don’t think 
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
would recognize me that day.

In all of my frustration, I was reminded of 
Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; 
but in every thing by prayer and supplication 
with thanksgiving let your requests be made 
known unto God.”

My frustration only brings stress into my life. 
Each day, I need to discipline myself to give 
the elements of my life over to God. Only He 
can sort out my life in a way that glorifies 
Him. Learning to pray for everything solves 
my problems.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with 
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 
Telephone 1-352-216-3025, e-mail, website www.

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