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A Place for Mom, the nation’s largest senior living referral service, has confirmed through a survey that a majority of America’s veterans searching for senior housing are not aware of the financial assistance available to them or their spouses.
With the costs of senior living steadily increasing, and many Americans navigating the emotional and fiscal challenges of finding senior communities for loved ones, it is a good time to shed light on the availability of this resource and those who qualify for it.According to a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM), 69 percent of veterans and their families who are 55 or older are not aware of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Aid & Attendance benefit, which provides financial assistance to help pay for assisted living care for veterans and their spouses. The poll surveyed more than 2000 Americans of whom 638 are or have a family member who is a veteran 55 years or older.
As the supply of senior housing struggles to meet the needs of the U.S. senior population, the cost of care for seniors is steadily increasing. Simultaneously, Americans are finding that they are financially unprepared for both retirement and aging. Due to these factors, planning and overseeing care for an elderly loved one has become a source of strain for many families.
“The survey results highlight what our advisors have found to be true based on our work with nearly 200,000 veterans since 2010: there is a gap in awareness when it comes to financial resources available to veterans and their spouses seeking assisted living care,” said Jennifer Mellet, Vice President of Senior Living Advising, A Place for Mom. “Veterans and their spouses are often eligible for benefits, but the process to apply is not well-promoted, or may be so complicated that families are unsure where to begin. Our goal is to raise awareness and help our nation’s veterans access the support they need as they seek senior care solutions.”
Linda Coleman, a Tampa-based Senior Living Advisor with A Place for Mom who frequently works with veterans, notes that while there are several required qualifications for the VA Aid & Attendance benefit, one can begin determining eligibility by considering three factors:
- Any Veteran with 90 days of consecutive active duty services
- Any Veteran who served at least one day during active war time
- The surviving spouse of a Veteran, if married at the time of Veteran’s death
The VA Aid & Attendance benefit applies to individuals who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring or other activities of daily living. This benefit is available to individuals who reside in assisted living communities, residential care homes, skilled nursing facilities and those receiving personal in-home care. Benefits for Veterans, couples and a surviving spouse can range anywhere from $1000 - $2600 a month in financial assistance.