Veterans who sacrifice their all while serving their country deserve assistance and support in their later years, even after they have stopped serving. Yet, some individuals could struggle to adjust to civilian life once they leave, especially if they have a severe disorder and require a lot of help. Also, if they relocate to a regular assisted living facility, the costly expense might become a burden.
Fortunately, there are benefits available to lessen the cost of long-term care in an assisted living facility for veterans and their surviving spouses. Read on to find out.
How Assisted Living Supports Seniors as Veterans
What Is Assisted Living?
Assisted living facilities are intended for senior citizens who can no longer manage to live independently and need assistance with daily tasks. However, they don’t require the constant medical care that a nursing home would offer.
Assisted living communities for veterans are private living spaces with several shared housing rooms, such as a kitchen. Every day of the week, a trained caregiver is available to assist veterans with daily tasks, including showering and dressing. If required, assisted living communities may also arrange for a health professional to regularly visit and give them extra care.
In short, Assisted living offers veterans assistance while maintaining as much of their independence as possible.
Assisted Living Benefits for Veterans
Veteran Aid & Attendance
Aid & Attendance is a benefit established to help veterans or their surviving spouse pay for care in independent living, assisted living, home health care, adult day care, or skilled nursing care. It provides monthly payments in addition to the monthly veteran pension.
The Aid & Attendance benefit begins with the Basic Pension. It assigns your senior a rating based on your level of medical need, which could increase the amount of your pension. Still, veterans must fulfill specific criteria, including military service and medical requirements.
For military service, the veteran must have served in the military for at least 90 days overall, at least one day during an eligible wartime period, and must have been dismissed other than dishonorably. Also, if the veteran’s spouse met this criterion at the time of their death, it was still acceptable.
For medical requirements, if the veteran or their spouse is still alive, their current medical conditions will determine the medical rating. The candidate must fulfill at least one of the following medical specifications:
- In need of an assistant to help them with daily tasks like bathing, eating, and dressing
- Remaining in bed or spending a long time of the day in bed due to sickness
- Staying in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability
- Having poor vision (even with glasses or contact lenses, they have only 5/200 or less in both eyes or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)
Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Service
This program is designed for veterans who need personal care services and require assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, and preparing meals. Also, it can benefit veterans who are lonely/isolated or whose caregivers are under stress.
With the Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program, veterans can receive aid in the form of paying for skilled services, case management and help with daily living tasks. Additionally, this program allows veterans to hire personal care assistants and a flexible budget for all services.
All enrolled veterans are eligible for this benefit if they are found to have a clinical need for the service. This program is provided as it is a part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, which is available to veterans of all ages who served in the military and were released for reasons other than dishonorable.
What Options Are Offered in Assisted Living for Veterans?
Community Living Centers
Community living centers for veterans resemble nursing homes. They are designed to support veterans of all ages with skilled nursing care, restorative treatment, access to social work services, and more. In addition, some centers include hospice and specific care for veterans with dementia or other cognitive impairments.
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Veterans of the American armed forces can live here in retirement. Those who meet the requirements can reside in the retirement community, which provides activities, food, wellness programs, and top-notch care. The wellness center offers medical or nursing treatment, pharmacy services, diet guides, physical and occupational therapy, dental and podiatric care, and more.
State Veterans Homes
State veterans Homes offer adult day care, domiciliary care, and nursing home care. These facilities are controlled and managed by state governments. Therefore, eligibility and admission criteria for State veterans Homes will differ from state to state because each state sets its own standards.
FAQs for Assisted Living & Home Care for Veterans
Must the surviving spouse have been married to the veteran when they were enlisted to qualify for Aid & Attendance?
If the surviving spouse was wed to the veteran at the time of their death and hasn’t remarried, they are eligible for Aid & Attendance. Unless they had a child, the spouse had to have been married to the veteran a year before their death. Also, the spouse had to have been residing with them throughout that year unless they had to live apart for medical reasons.
Does a spouse only receive Aid & Attendance if the veteran has passed away?
A veteran is regarded as having a dependent spouse if they are still married and their spouse needs care. If a married veteran meets the eligibility conditions and has a dependent spouse, the veteran may be granted a Basic Pension.
If a senior doesn’t qualify for Veterans Aid & Attendance when they apply, will they never have another chance?
If the veteran’s ineligibility is due to their failure to meet the medical or financial requirements, remember that medical conditions, income, and assets vary over time. Thus, even if a senior is not eligible right now, they might be in the future.
Who is eligible for a Veteran-Directed Home?
To be eligible, a veteran must:
- Be living in their own home or community and requiring assistance with three or more daily activities.
- Having severe cognitive impairment may result in impairments in activities of daily living.
Seniors who are 75 or older, living alone in the community, being diagnosed with clinical depression, receiving hospice care, or requiring assistance with essential daily activities may face less strict requirements for application to the program.
If you have questions about Veteran Benefits for Assisted Living, connect with us and learn more. Or you can download our guide on How the Veterans Aid & Attendance Benefit Can Help You Afford Senior Living now.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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