When families begin the search for senior care, how to pay for it is a concern that can come up quickly for many. Private funds typically cover a large percentage of the costs, but there are many other financing options that can assist. The list includes a unique program known as the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
This tax-free benefit is offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is designed for both the veteran and their spouse. It can help bridge the gap between a veteran's income and assets, and the cost of senior care.
What is the Aid & Attendance Benefit?
The Aid & Attendance Benefit provides financial support (on top of a basic VA pension) to veterans and their spouses, or the surviving spouses of deceased veterans. A veteran age 65 or older who served at least 90 days of active military service, of which at least one day was during an acknowledged period of war, may be eligible. This benefit also applies to their surviving spouse.
There are several important things to know with regard to the benefit. First, the veteran who applies must have been honorably discharged from service. It's also essential to know that the veteran does not have to have been injured during their period of military service to qualify for financial assistance. Finally, applicants must be eligible for and already receiving a VA pension or must be eligible and apply for a VA pension at the same time they apply for the Aid & Attendance Benefit.
Who is Eligible for Assistance through the Aid & Attendance Benefit?
There are a variety of qualifying conditions the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) takes into consideration when determining if a veteran or their spouse is eligible for assisted living benefits.
Military Service Requirement
The first requirement a veteran must meet is at least 90 days of active military service. At least one day of that service must have been during an acknowledged period of war. Here are the wars and conflicts that meet the period of war requirement set by Department of Veterans Affairs:
World War I (April 6, 1917November 11, 1918)
World War II (December 7, 1941December 31, 1946)
Korean conflict (June 27, 1950January 31, 1955)
Vietnam era (February 28, 1961May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise, August 5, 1964May 7, 1975)
Gulf War (August 2, 1990through a future date to be set by law or presidential proclamation)
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a veteran or surviving spouse must also meet at least one of the following criteria to receive senior care benefits:
Need for another person to help perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or
Must stay in bed or spend a large portion of the day in bed because of illness, or
Be a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or
Have limited eyesight (even with glasses or contact lenses having only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less)
If the veteran meets both the military service and the needs-based requirements outlined above, the next step is to evaluate the yearly family income and net worth standard. These income and asset guidelines are adjusted each year by Congress.
Senior Care Financial Support for Veterans and Spouses
While families often find the process complicated and even cumbersome, this benefit can make a significant difference for veterans who qualify for financial assistance. While the amounts change every year, they currently range from $14,928 a year for a surviving spouse to $27,540 for a veteran with a spouse or child.
You can learn more by visiting the Pension benefits area of the US Department of Veterans Affairs online.
Sunrise Senior Living Welcomes Veterans
Sunrise communities are proud to be home for many of our nation's veterans. Our team members have experience helping families understand the Aid and Attendance Benefit. Call the Sunrise community nearest you today to learn more about this special benefit for veterans and their spouses!
In the realm of senior therapy, the integration of music and arts stands out as a transformative approach to holistic well-being. Recent studies highlight the profound cognitive benefits that music can offer to seniors, from stimulating memory recall to enhancing overall cognitive function. Whether through familiar melodies that evoke cherished memories or the joy of learning a new instrument, music becomes a powerful tool for self-expression and connection, particularly for seniors facing cognitive decline. Simultaneously, engaging in visual and performing arts provides an avenue for creative expression, offering a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The emotional impact of these creative endeavors is equally significant, alleviating feelings of loneliness and fostering a sense of community through shared experiences in choir singing or art classes.In essence, the incorporation of music and arts into senior therapy transcends mere entertainment, becoming a vital aspect of promoting the overall well-being of older individuals. By tapping into the creative spirit, seniors can find avenues for cognitive stimulation, emotional connection, and a renewed sense of purpose. As society recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to senior care, the role of music and arts in therapeutic practices emerges as a valuable and enriching endeavor for the aging population, contributing to a fulfilling and vibrant later life.
Weve all seen the commercial with the infamous line: Help, Ive fallen and I cant get up! The advertisement itself may have been a bit melodramatic, but it raises an important question: what should seniors do if they actually fall and cannot get up?This is where a medical alert system can be critical.What are Medical Alert Systems?Medical alert systems, sometimes referred to as life alert devices, are emergency monitors for seniors to use as they go about their everyday lives. Many medical alert systems are used in the seniors home. These usually consist of a base unit and sensors that are mounted on the wall of the home. These types of systems can detect a fall in the home and trigger an automatic call to emergency services.Some systems also come with a portable option for the senior to wear wherever they go. The main feature of mobile options is the help button. When an emergency such as an injury or fall occurs, seniors can press this button to send out an alert and get the help they need.Oftentimes seniors wear these portable monitors around their neck like a long necklace, on their wrist like a bracelet, on their belt loop, or in their pocket. These monitors should be small and portable so the senior can wear them at all times, and waterproof so they can wear them in the bath or shower a common location for falls.How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?Most medical alert systems allow for real-time tracking through the use of voice, data, and GPS technology. This is important because it gives emergency services the seniors exact location in case of an emergency.With a mobile device, seniors can press the help button after a fall to alert emergency personnel. An in-home system will automatically alert emergency services when it detects a fall. Many basic systems simply alert emergency services once the help button is pressed. More elaborate systems are connected to a 24-hour call center that fields the emergencies and determines the next move. They are able to either alert the seniors emergency contacts (set up ahead of time) or send for emergency services if needed.Who Should Use Medical Alert Systems?All seniors could benefit from having a medical alert system, since you never know when an incident may occur. But, these emergency alert buttons are especially important for seniors who live alone or are aging in place. If a senior who lives alone has a fall and no one is there to help, a medical alert system is not just beneficial; it can actually be lifesaving.Additionally, wearing a medical alert system is one way for seniors to maintain their independence at home while still being prepared for an emergency. And it also provides peace of mind for family members and caregivers that their loved ones can access help in case of an emergency.Why Should Seniors Use a Medical Alert System?The main reason for seniors to use a medical alert system is to allow for fast action in case of a fall or other emergency. According to the CDC, around 36 million falls are reported among seniors every year. Falls can be caused by a number of reasons, such as certain health and cognitive conditions, loss of muscle mass, and weakened eyesight, reflexes, and balance. They can also be caused by unsafe footwear or safety hazards inside and outside the home, like steps, rugs, spills, and clutter.Falls should be taken seriously when they occur. Falls are the leading cause of accidents, serious injuries, and accidental deaths in seniors. To that end, emergency departments treat 3 million seniors for injuries from falls every year. That is more than 8,000 falls every day.The risk of falling can also be a major source of anxiety for seniors, as falls can threaten their independence, mobility, and physical health.Oftentimes when a senior falls, they need help from someone else to regain their balance and get back up. But, if they live alone or no one is around, they may not be able to get themselves up at all. Being stuck on the ground for a long period of time is extremely dangerous for seniors and prolongs their risk of serious injury. Therefore, getting help quickly after a fall is key. With a medical alert system, even a senior who lives alone can have peace of mind that help is available when they need it all at the push of a button. How Much Do Medical Alert Systems Cost?As with all technology, the price of medical alert systems can vary based on equipment, activation, monitoring type, extra devices, and additional features.Some companies allow you to rent their medical alert system equipment, and some require you to buy it. Buying the items may cost anywhere from $50-$350 depending on the type of equipment.In addition, many medical alert systems charge a monthly fee to use their service. This fee pays for access to the 24-hour emergency call center.Generally, the service cost for at-home medical alert systems is around $25 per month or $239 per year. The service cost for on-the-go-devices is slightly more expensive at around $30-$45 a month. Sometimes there is an additional one-time installation or activation fee that can range from $25-$100. However, this fee is often included in the package when you purchase and initiate a medical alert system.Are Medical Alert Systems Covered by Insurance?Usually medical alert systems are not covered by insurance. But, some options might be available to help you cover the cost.For example, your HSA or FSA may offer a deduction for medical alert systems. Medicare Advantage may also cover some of the cost of medical alert systems. You may be able to get coverage through Veterans benefits as well. However, make sure you check with your insurance provider or your states Medicare/Medicaid program, as benefits can vary by policy or state.If you need assistance funding a medical alert system, be sure to contact your local sheriffs office or Area Agency on Aging, which sometimes have grants or resources available. Best Affordable Medical Alert Systems for SeniorsThere are hundreds of companies that sell medical alert systems. Some of the top-rated, affordable options are as follows:MobileHelp - The National Council on Aging (NCOA) voted this company as Best All-Around System. Their monthly fees start at $19.95 and fall buttons are available for an additional $10 per month. They also offer a free trial period.Bay Alarm Medical - The NCOA voted this company as Best for the Price. Their fees start at $25 per month and fall buttons are available for an additional $10 per month. They also offer a free trial period.Lively - Voted Best Health Services by the NCOA, this companys fees start at $25 per month, with fall detection buttons for an additional $25 per month.Other options include Get Safe as a basic option, Medical Guardian MGMove as a wearable option, and Fast Help as an easy, quick option available on Amazon. Some other notable providers of medical alert systems are ADT Medical Alert and Life Alert.How to Help Your Senior Loved OnesMedical alert systems are one impactful way to gain confidence about your senior loved ones safety as they age. For some seniors, this is all the reassurance they need about their safety and independence. But, other seniors may need a little more support.Having a fall can reveal or trigger the need for additional support. Whether you are looking for support in a senior living community or are seeking home health care services, Florida Senior Consulting can help. Our expert senior advisors will find your loved one the care they need to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay safe and lower their risk of falls and injuries. With this peace of mind ultimately comes a better quality of life for seniors and their families.When the decisions become too overwhelming, our experts are here for you. And, we offer these services at no cost to seniors or their families.Senior living on your terms. The choice should be yours.For peace of mind, call us at (800) 969-7176 or visit us at FloridaSeniorConsulting.com.
In a world bustling with new experiences and breathtaking landscapes, age should never be a barrier to wanderlust. Senior travel, often overlooked, is a realm of endless possibilities and enriching encounters. Ageless Adventures is a celebration of this spirit, inviting seniors from all walks of life to embark on transformative journeys across the globe. As the golden years gracefully unfold, theres a growing recognition that travel is not just for the young and restless; its a tapestry of discovery, connecting seniors with the world's diverse cultures, cuisines, and captivating histories. Imagine strolling through the vibrant streets of Kyoto, savoring the aroma of freshly brewed Italian coffee in Rome, or marveling at the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu. These are not mere dreams; they are the vivid realities woven into the fabric of senior travel.Ageless Adventures strives to make these dreams tangible. Through meticulously curated itineraries, seniors are guided to explore destinations tailored to their interests and pace. Whether its delving into the artistry of Parisian museums or finding solace amidst the serene beaches of Bali, every adventure is designed to nurture the soul and spark curiosity. Beyond the breathtaking scenery, these journeys foster a sense of community, where like-minded individuals forge lifelong friendships, share laughter, and create cherished memories. Traveling, after all, is not merely about the places visited; its about the stories shared, the perspectives gained, and the moments that take your breath away. Ageless Adventures invites seniors to step into a world where age is but a number, and every passport stamp is a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration. So, let the adventure begin, and let the world be your timeless playground.
Sunrise of Boulder is nestled in a quiet neighborhood with gorgeous mountain views next to a city park and bike path. We offer a variety of lifestyle, service and care options. By providing these choices, we not only offer solutions for today, but we provide the security of knowing that there are options for tomorrow. For further information, please call us or visit our website.
Sunrise of Boulder is nestled in a quiet neighborhood with gorgeous mountain views next to a city park and bike path. We offer a variety of lifestyle, service and care options. By providing these choices, we not only offer solutions for today, but we provide the security of knowing that there are options for tomorrow. For further information, please call or visit our website.