Everyone deserves to live their golden years to the fullest — especially our nation’s veterans. After dedicating your life to serving our country, a senior living home can be the perfect place to begin an exciting new journey.
What many veterans don’t know is that senior living can be more like a resort than a nursing home, with trained chefs, on-site cafes, gardens to stroll in, social events and group classes to enjoy. And many veterans are eligible to receive benefits that help cover the costs.
Here are just a few of the reasons that senior living can be a great option for veterans.
Helping Veterans Live an Optimum Life
No matter what challenges may come with age, we never stop dreaming, learning and growing. That’s why our community programming is designed to help you keep growing and enjoying life, from social events and physical activities to spiritual needs and personal goals.
Charlie Grace, a 90-year-old Army Air Corps veteran and Brookdale resident, recently made his dreams a reality. Brookdale Wishes works in partnership with Wish of a Lifetime to help residents fulfill lifelong dreams. Charlie Grace used his wish to take to the skies in an original P-51 Mustang. Of course, his flight wouldn’t have been complete without a few barrel rolls!
Serving Meals Cooked Just for You
You might think that meals at senior living homes are a lot like MREs, but that’s a common misconception. Meals at a community can be delicious and healthy. We can also accommodate some specific dietary needs.
Forget about the days at the mess hall! Our meals are prepared by trained chefs with fresh ingredients and can be tailored to suit your needs.
And having a dining program isn’t just about the good food. It takes tasks like meal-prep and dishwashing off your plate, so you have more time to do the things you enjoy.
Building True Community
Every veteran knows the importance of comradery. Working, living and serving together creates a bond between military members that lasts for a lifetime. Senior living communities should be the same — a true community where residents make lasting friendships and memories over shared experiences.
A senior living community is a place where you can build a strong community with friends and neighbors, especially with special events and communal spaces. Group classes that stimulate the body and mind and amenities like cafes, gardens and religious services give everyone a chance to connect and create a vibrant social life.
Educating Veterans about Benefits
Many veterans don’t realize that they qualify for special, government-funded programs that help provide coverage for senior living. We’re here to provide resources that can guide you through the process of acquiring the benefits you need.
If you’re a veteran, you and your loved ones may qualify for benefits that could save you thousands of dollars a month — even if you didn’t serve long enough to draw a retirement check. Here are a few options available to veterans interested in senior living.
The VA Pension is perhaps the most well-known benefit offered to veterans. VA.gov states that for a veteran to qualify for a pension, they must meet the following criteria:
- A minimum of 90 days of active duty service, with at least one day during a wartime period
- If entering active duty after September 7, 1980, a minimum of 24 months or the full amount of time for which you were called to active duty, with at least one day during a wartime period; some exceptions may apply.
- Age 65-plus, OR
- Permanently disabled, OR
- Receiving skilled nursing care or residing as a patient in a nursing home, OR
- A recipient of Supplemental Security Income, OR
- A recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance
- A yearly family income less than the amount set by Congress
To learn more about income, net worth and usage limitations and to see an example of how VA calculates pension benefits, visit the VA website.
Aid and Attendance and Housebound Benefits
Veterans who qualify for a VA Pension could also qualify for Aid and Attendance (A&A) or Housebound benefits.
These monthly amounts were established to help veterans pay for health-related caregiving. While A&A covers care provided in a facility, such as a nursing home or assisted living community, Housebound care covers caregiving for those limited to their immediate premises due to a permanent disability. The VA states that you cannot qualify for both A&A and Housebound benefits at the same time.
To be eligible for these benefits, you must meet one of the following requirements:
- You require assistance with personal, everyday tasks, such as bathing, feeding, dressing and adjusting prosthetics.
- Your disability requires bed-rest, aside from prescribed course of convalescence or treatment.
- You require a nursing home due to mental or physical disability.
- Your eyesight is no more than a corrected 5/2000 visual acuity in both eyes, or a concentric contraction of the visual field to no more than five degrees.
Veterans whose family income is too high to qualify for a basic pension may be eligible for A&A or Housebound allowances.
Veterans benefits aren’t only for those who served in the military; spouses and children of military members can also receive funding too. A Survivors Pension is a monthly, tax-free benefit for surviving loved ones of veterans who meet the VA Pension requirements.
For a surviving spouse to receive benefits, they must remain unmarried and meet the low-income requirements. The requirements for a surviving child are different. For a child to receive a Survivors Pension, they must:
- Be under age 18, OR
- Attending a VA-approved school and under age 23, OR
- Permanently incapable of supporting themselves because of a disability before age 18
Like other VA benefits, a loved one’s yearly income will affect their eligibility for a Survivors Pension and depends on the amount set by Congress.
For more information on whether you or your loved ones may qualify for a VA Pension, A&A, Housebound benefits or a Survivors Pension, visit the VA website.
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