The Holiday Talk
The holiday season is upon us once again and that means spending time and making memories with family and friends. It is also a very good time to check in with your aging senior and hold a family discussion around whether they may be ready for independent living or assisted living in Arizona. While it might not be time to move right away, having the discussion in advance will make it easier when the time does come.
At VIP Senior Placement, we realize an honest, open discussion about this subject may not be easy on families. As we age, it becomes more difficult to admit when we need help or to talk about down-sizing from home and relocating to assisted living. The connection of families from across the miles at this time of year can set a warm tone and make this important conversation a little easier.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Follow their lead and listen carefully to what is important to them as they express their perceived care needs.
- Regardless of your past relationship with them, respect their position and take it slow.
- Be prepared to provide some information about some local care options. This will help put your loved ones at ease.
- Involve as many family members as possible to help support this important conversation.
Senior living services can make life easier for everyone involved and meet the changing demands of your aging loved one. There are several quality senior living communities that offer 24/7 care in Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix and the surrounding areas. There’s no reason to wait. Learn the options available to you today, in advance of “the event” that makes this conversation not only more difficult, but mandatory.
Contact a VIP Senior Placement Advisor to help you determine the best options for your aging senior.
At VIP Senior Placement, we know that seniors and their families can encounter a lot of complex issues when it becomes time to leave home and relocate to assisted living. Every week I meet with aging seniors and their families who are blindsided with the daunting task of relocating to assisted living from a rehab, hospital or current home. I have yet to meet someone who is “excited” or “looking forward” to the change they are about to encounter and a new living environment. What’s more, I have yet to meet a family who knew where to start and had plenty of time on their hands to achieve the task. This is why we strive to be an advocate for families at this sensitive and pivotal time.
Our personal service is absolutely free and we will be there through the entire process to offer advice, guidance, insight and education about the local senior housing market, so you can make a “better” informed decision. Find out more at www.vipseniorplacement.com and put our years of industry experience and knowledge of the local market to work for you and your family.
Have you ever heard of the “Aid and Attendance Veteran’s Pension Benefit”?
I have recently posed this question to some elderly Veterans at a local “Senior Expo” here in Mesa. It was alarming to discover how many were completely unaware of this veteran’s pension benefit and what it was all about. We’ve all heard of the ‘Unknown Soldier”. I like to call this one the “Unknown Benefit”. The experience I had this week inspired me to write this blog for the men and women who gave so much to protect our country’s freedoms, to help them learn a little more about the “Unknown Benefit”.
What is Aid and Attendance?
Aid and Attendance is a veteran’s pension benefit specifically designed for those who served during wartime and today require the “aid and attendance’ of a caregiver to perform daily living activities. Those who are disabled, blind, etc. and/or currently living in a nursing home or assisted living in Arizona are likely the best candidates. If both husband and wife are veterans, the benefit can help reduce the overall cost of senior care, especially if they require the care and supervision found at senior housing options like assisted living or memory care.
How Do I Qualify for Aid and Attendance Veteran’s Pension Benefit?
According to www.veteranaid.org, you must submit an application and there are basic qualifications that must be met, both medically and financially.
“The application will require a medical evaluation from a physician, current medical issues, net worth limitations, and net income, along with out-of-pocket medical expenses.”
For the medical side, minimally, you must require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s) including but not limited to:
- Eating, etc.
Financially, the qualifications can be a little gray, but in general, your total assets must be less than $80,000, not counting the house and car. The benefit can be put towards monthly expenses for assisted living, in-home care or other medical and living expenses. Payments are made directly monthly like a social security by the U.S. Treasury Department.
How Do I Apply for Aids and Attendance?
As should be expected, the application process can be both a paperwork and bureaucratic nightmare. In most cases, the approval process can take 6-9 months with those over the age of 90 able to ask for their application to be expedited . Here are a couple links for printable forms to submit for wartime veterans who have served 90 days or more, and this link is for the surviving spouse of wartime veterans. Despite the lengthy process, the really good news is that when you are finally approved, your benefits are back paid retro-active to your application date.
How Much Can I Receive From This Benefit?
According to the latest information released concerning the 2017 rates for Aid and Attendance, the benefit for a wartime vet with a living spouse could be as much as $2,100/per month. A single, surviving spouse could receive as much as $1,100/per month to help with their on-going care needs.
Where Can I Get More Details about the Aid and Attendance Veterans Benefit?
There is a free, one-minute questionnaire available that is helpful if you are trying to figure out if you or a loved one may qualify. Visit www.veteranaid.org for more details on the application process and complete step-by-step instructions on how to apply for Aids and Attendance.
In honor of all living and deceased veterans who have fought for our freedom, I want to extend my hand and thank you for your service on this Veteran’s Day 2017. Thank you. It’s a privilege to give back where I can and assist our elderly vets and help their families learn more about the government benefits for veterans.