Blog

A Glimpse Inside the Profession of Equine Therapy: Horse and Human Roles

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What makes an Equine Assisted Horse Professional? What special knowledge or skill might they need to have in order to do this work?  An equine-assisted professional should have a grounding in basic horse care requirements: feeding and nutrition, grooming, de-worming, vaccination, farrier needs, and monitoring vitals and general health. He/She should know the signs of colic, lameness, and other issues. He/She should be competent in handling the horse and maintaining a sound facility and environment suitable for horses. I feel it’s pretty important for every equine-assisted professional to take a step back from anything and everything they’ve ever learned about horses, and re-evaluate its completeness. Ideally, each horse professional develops a never-ending “learner’s mind” toward horses, a mindset that always questions the traditional ways while exploring and examining new ones. What Does It take to Be an Equine-Assisted Professional? The

Tools to Maximize Independence for Disabled Veterans

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For disabled veterans, simple tasks can get in the way of everyday activities. Not being able to put on your shoes, type on a computer or get down your front steps can make the difference between leading a fulfilling, independent life and feeling distraught and helpless. Know that having an impairment doesn’t mean you have to struggle with your day-to-day life. Assistive device options The purpose of assistive aids is to help maintain or improve your functioning and independence. They can enrich your physical, mental or intellectual wellbeing. In short, these tools make it easier for you to do everyday activities, such as getting dressed, moving around or cooking. Independent living aids This is a sample of the devices that can help you stay independent in your home. Consider these choices: In the kitchen: Mechanical reaching tools: Ask someone to

WATCH: Homeless Veterans in Jacksonville Receive Help from DVNF

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DVNF recently helped homeless veterans in Jacksonville through our Health & Comfort program. It was in incredible showing of support for veterans who need it the most. Local and national organizations came together to care for these men and women, and DVNF’s shipment helped to pave the way. This just goes to show how much Americans from all walks of life truly appreciate the service and the sacrifices of those who served in our military. Not only that, but it also demonstrates a nationwide commitment to ensuring that homeless veterans receive the care and support they are due. DVNF's Health & Comfort program is a way for us to give to veterans in need. We send shipments of Comfort Kits, clothing, blankets, toiletries, and so much more to stand down events around the country. Sometimes it encourages veterans in need

Guest Blog: How to Talk With Your Veteran About Assisted Living

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Assisted living facilities are growing like wildflowers in many communities. What do they offer, and how can you talk with your veteran about considering one? Assisted Living Basics Assisted living facilities are housing for elderly or disabled people that provides some level of assistance, but not total care. This assistance may include meals, housekeeping and help with daily activities like bathing, as well as nursing care, such as disease or medication management. Assisted living also provides safety and security 24 hours a day, opportunities for socialization, local transportation to nearby stores and doctors’ offices, and entertainment.  Before you talk with your veteran about potentially moving to assisted living, do a little homework. This conversation is not easy. Knowing the details about assisted living facility options before you talk is helpful. Review the shared decision-making form provided by the U.S. Department

VIDEO: Honoring Veterans and Active Duty Military

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Although it may seem calm at times, it's important to remember that we are still a nation at war and that we should still be honoring veterans and active duty military. There are men and women who stand ready to defend our nation from threats, and we can't forget the ever-present dangers that are out there. Many entities want to do our nation harm. They oppose everything we stand for as a nation, and though we may have our own internal struggles, our service members are there to protect us! So in 2018, while we continue to support veterans who have served our nation, let's make sure we honor those who are currently serving. Be sure to thank our heroes!

A New Year’s Resolution for Veterans

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A new year can sometimes seem like an arbitrary time to suddenly begin to make drastic changes for personal improvement. However, making improvements in your health, lifestyle, and your overall wellbeing shouldn’t take a back seat to your busy life. Even if you hate New Years resolutions, there is no time like the present to get in shape and set up new healthy habits. Veterans tend to suffer from chronic illnesses more often than civilians, so maintenance of your body through proper diet and exercise are vital. Here are a few tips to consider when debating whether or not you should embark on a journey to a better you. Find the motivation You were used to daily PT when you were in the military, but once you’re a civilian, life can often get in the ways. However, it is extremely

Our Favorite Photos from Events in 2017

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Seeing the Impact Photos help to tell a story. They don't always tell the whole story, but they can give you a window to the heart of a story. DVNF participated, hosted, or supported in dozens of events in 2017 through our programs, and through other activities to reach out and touch the lives of the veterans we served. Here are some of our favorite photos from 2017. Detroit Hiring Fair This Detroit veteran's smile says a whole lot. Through our Boots to Suits program, DVNF provided veterans on the job hunt with a brand new suit and new business attire - for free. It's amazing how dressing well boosts confidence. Albany, NY - Veterans Miracle Center DVNF sent a Health & Comfort shipment to Albany to help the Veterans Miracle Center restock their free "store" for veterans. Not only did

Guest Blog: Supporting a Clean and Sober Lifestyle for Returning Vets

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How Family Members Can Support a Clean and Sober Lifestyle for Their Returning Vet By Anna Ciulla A loved one who returns home from active military service is often not the same person they once were, having witnessed and experienced traumatic events the likes of which can be hard to fathom. This new reality can be difficult to adjust to—not just for the returning service person but for their immediate family, who naturally wonder how they can help their loved one make a smooth and healthy transition back to civilian life. In this period of re-acclimating to civilian life, it’s important to keep in mind that returning vets are more vulnerable to substance abuse and self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, due to various factors: Chronic or acute pain from one or more war-related injuries Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),

Delivering Resources to Veterans in Need

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DVNF's first resource fair a huge success On November 9th, DVNF hosted its first ever resource fair for veterans in the DC Metro area. Government representatives, nonprofit organizations, and additional providers such as staffing firms took part in the event. More than 50 veterans attended the event, and 33 veterans were given new business attire through our Tailored for Troops program! So many of the veterans we spoke with were overjoyed at the outpouring of support from their community. Some were in search of employment, some needed new clothing, and many others were simply looking for community. This event impacted one veteran in particular in a big way. This young Marine veteran was there with his wife and their two-year-old son. He told us that he had been having a difficult time since he left the Marine Corps, and had

Guest Blog: How a Veteran Can Heal from Traumatic Memories

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How a Veteran Can Heal from Traumatic Memories By Anna Ciulla An experience of active combat can be incredibly traumatic, which is why there is such a high prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among the veteran population. These less visible battle scars—the traumatic memories, flashbacks and other symptoms that can cause daily torment long after active duty has ended—are a reminder of the great sacrifice that fighting to defend our country entails. But that sacrifice doesn’t have to take a lifetime toll. There are ways to cope with and ultimately go on to overcome traumatic memories that any vet can benefit from knowing about: Trauma-Focused Psychotherapies—in particular, Eye Movement Densensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), and Cognitive Processing Therapy—have helped a significant proportion of people with PTSD find healing. In fact, a handy “Treatment Comparison Sheet” from the U.S.