WINCHESTER, Calif., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 600 senior
veterans who improved their physical and mental capabilities years ago in
boot camp will utilize the same skills as they prepare to compete in the
22nd annual Golden Age Games in Indianapolis, IN beginning on August 20.
The games are the world's largest recreation and sporting competition for
senior veterans providing "golden age" veterans with tremendous therapeutic
Co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Help
Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) and the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS), the
Golden Age Games competitions are open to veterans age 55 or older who --
currently -- receive care at one of the VA medical facilities. The games
are designed to improve the quality of life for older veterans by
encouraging them to make physical activity a central part of their lives.
"Staying active and healthy through sports and fitness is important to all
our nation's veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B.
Peake. "We are proud to offer the Golden Age Games as a premier sporting
event for our senior veterans."
The VA's National Rehabilitation Special Events program focuses on the
importance of sports and fitness as a means of therapy. Physical activity
and friendly competition engage the mind as well as the body and ensure a
faster and more successful recovery. VA research and clinical experience
verify the benefit of recreational therapy for the health, recovery and
overall quality of life for older people.
HHV's mission revolves around keeping veterans physically and mentally
active. Its sponsorship of the Golden Age Games is based on the
rehabilitative benefits this program provides to these veterans. For the
same reason, HHV also co-sponsors the National Veteran's Creative Arts
Festival and the VA's newest Special Event, the National Veterans Summer
"After HHV's initial co-sponsorship of the games in 2007, we are
extremely pleased to announce our continued support of this therapeutic
program," said Mike Lynch, Executive Director of HHV. As a national
co-sponsor, in just two years HHV has contributed more than $400,000 to
this program. "We share a similar mission with the VA which is to improve
the quality of life for veterans suffering from the physical and mental
injuries of war through the use of a variety of therapeutic programs."
HHV is focused on improving the recovery process of veterans by
providing therapeutic arts and craft kits courtesy of their generous
donors. Art therapy, like recreational therapy, is a proven means of
rehabilitation for mental, emotional and physical handicaps that has the
potential to dramatically impact a patient's outcome. Enabling patients to
become involved in a satisfying, creative activity improves patient morale
and makes them more responsive to treatment and easier to care for. A four
year study conducted at 13 VA hospitals found that the craft kits enjoy "a
98.6% positive response" from veterans. The study, conducted by Health Care
Data, Inc., concluded that of those veterans using the kits 48%
demonstrated functional improvement, 45% had improved attention spans and
51% showed an improvement in overall motivation.
Other HHV sponsored events and programs that are aimed at improving not
only the physical rehabilitation of America's veterans, but improve their
overall mental state of mind. Events such as the new National Veterans
Summer Sports Clinic, the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival,
Re-Creation, USA, Bugles Across America and the Wounded Warrior Ministry in
HHV was founded in April 1971 for the primary purpose of distributing
therapeutic arts and crafts kits -- free of charge -- to our nation's
veterans and active duty military personnel receiving treatment at
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, military hospitals,
and state veterans nursing homes. Through its direct mail campaigns, HHV
strives to educate the public about the many ways they can become
personally involved in providing additional care to patients receiving
treatment at these facilities. For more information on HHV and the services
it provides to our nation's veteran heroes, visit www.hhv.org.
SOURCE Help Hospitalized Veterans