Veterans Aid and Attendance Support Senior Living

Written by Natalie Reisen. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured, Senior Living

Published on November 10, 2021 with No Comments

Veteran’s benefits may save you thousands 

Whether you or your spouse is a veteran, it is beneficial to find out about the Veterans Affairs (VA) Aid and Attendance payment source that helps support senior living. According to statistics provided by A Place for Mom, only an estimated quarter of eligible seniors apply for this benefit which can cover thousands of dollars for senior living and caregiving expenses. The problem has a simple solution: don’t assume you’re not eligible and don’t assume there are too many restrictions. 

The VA Aid and Attendance program provides a substantial monthly payment in addition to the existing VA pension for eligible veterans and surviving spouses. Think of it as a supplemental income added to the VA Pension or survivors’ pension to help cover the cost of long-term senior care. 

For those older veterans or their surviving spouses who are not able to manage without assistance, the VA Aid and Assistance supports the costs of assisted living, memory care, and in-home care services, as well as skilled care/nursing home settings. To apply, the senior living community is required to provide 24-hour staffing, and the veteran or surviving spouse must require assistance with at least two of the six activities of daily living (ADLs) listed by the VA.

ADLs, simply put, are the basic tasks a person needs to be able to do to live independently. These are tasks needed every day. These are essential to staying healthy and safe. A most used tool used by professionals to determine and assess the overall health and function of older adults is The Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living:

  • Bathing and showering—being able to do either, as well as dental, hair and nail hygiene
  • Continence—being able to control bowels and bladder
  • Dressing—being able to dress without assistance, choosing appropriate clothes and outerwear
  • Mobility—ability to walk or transfer from bed or chair 
  • Feeding—being able to take food from the plate to the mouth and being able to chew and swallow
  • Toileting—being able to get on and off the toilet and to clean self without assistance.

There is another instrument that measures ability –the Lawton-Brody scale, which measures Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) and evaluates being able to do tasks that require more thinking and organizational skills. Often, families who do not live nearby older parents or relatives do not notice certain declines in abilities. During a visit which has not occurred as frequently, they are sometimes surprised to see that these tasks, while once very aptly handled, have become more challenging:

  • Cleaning and housekeeping—including maintenance and other chores to maintain the home
  • Laundry—ability to do the task, or letting clothes, towels, bedding go unwashed
  • Managing money
  • Managing medications and taking them as directed
  • Preparing meals
  • Shopping for groceries and other necessities
  • Transportation—including changing residences and moving
  • Using communication devices—including telephones or computers

Perhaps it’s time for more assistance or even another environment for senior living. Think about the possibilities for a better, safer, healthier life for a veteran you may know during this time when we celebrate all the sacrifices they made for our country. Contact your local Veterans Assistance office; ask about VA Aid and Attendance to determine eligibility. We also invite you to call Residences at Coffee Creek 219- 921-5200. Use us as a springboard for more information and resources because we are proud to serve veterans and grateful for all the service they have provided. Visit our website at www.ResidencesSeniorLiving.com

Natalie Reisen works as the Director of Marketing and Sales for Residences at Coffee Creek, located at 2300 Village Point in Chestertonserving as a key player in supporting new residents and families making the transition to senior living. In addition, Natalie is a Certified Dementia Practitioner.  A native of the region, Natalie was raised in Portage, and she graduated with her Bachelor of Communication from Purdue University and her Masters of Business Administration from University of Saint Francis. For more information, contact her at 219-921-5200 or email Natalie directly at nreisen@residencesatcoffeecreek.com.

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About Natalie Reisen

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Natalie Reisen works as the Marketing Coordinator for Residences at Coffee Creek, located at 2300 Village Point in Chesterton serving as a key playing in supporting new residents and families making the transition to senior living. In addition, Natalie is a Certified Dementia Practitioner. A native of the region, Natalie was raised in Portage and she graduated with her Bachelors of Communication from Purdue University and her Masters of Business Administration from University of Saint Francis. For more information, contact her at 219-921-5200 or email Natalie directly at nreisen@residencesatcoffeecreek.com.

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