Largo, Fla. - Caring for aging parents and loved ones can be difficult under any circumstance, but challenges often multiply when dealing with a unique population segment – veterans.
The National Alliance for Caregivers states that caregivers of veterans are twice as likely to remain a caregiver for 10 years or longer, and are often unable to retain a job while providing adequate care for their veteran. With stress and pressure stacking up, these caregivers, often the adult children or even grandchildren, may wonder where to turn for assistance, and may be unaware of resources that are available for veterans.
For caregivers who are no longer able to provide the amount and quality of care their loved ones need, the Aid and Attendance benefit provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, can be a huge help. This benefit helps to offset the cost of rent in assisted living communities for veterans and their spouses. Aid and Attendance is not a new benefit, but many of those who are eligible are unaware of what it can
The benefit increased in 2012. Veterans may now qualify for up to $1,704 monthly and surviving spouses may qualify for $1,094 monthly to assist with rent at an assisted living facility. For a couple (married veteran and spouse), the benefit is $2,020. There are also benefits available for the spouse of a veteran, even if the veteran is still alive but will not be living in the assisted living facility.
Information on Aid and Assistance is available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and many assisted living facilities. Veterans and their caregivers in need of assistance are urged to contact their local VA office. Grand Villa of Largo is also holding a free seminar on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. to discuss different options for those in need of help paying for assisted living. This event is free and open to the public. Those interested should call 727-493-0164 for more information.
Larry Prescott is executive director of Grand Villa of Largo (www.largoseniorliving.com), an assisted living and Alzheimer’s care residential community in Largo. He can be reached at 727-586-0108 or ED.LAR@smacommunity.net.