Have you considered private-duty home care as an option for your elderly family member? Maybe you’ve been looking after your elderly father or grandfather for some time. He has been living alone and having difficulty with his mobility, strength, balance, or some health issue. As a family caregiver, you feel overwhelmed and keep wondering if there are other options available.
He doesn’t have a lot of money, and neither do you. The idea of hiring a home care aide has simply not been an option for you, at least for a long time. If your elderly veteran father or grandfather is considered a wartime veteran, in other words he served during a time of active combat, he may qualify for the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
What is the Aid and Attendance Benefit?
This is a benefit made available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that was developed after World War I to help soldiers get the proper care and support they needed to cope with injuries and disabilities sustained in battle. Through the years it expanded to now cover veterans of all ages, whether they were injured or disabled in active service or not. The Aid and Attendance benefit can be used for private-duty home care, incontinence supplies, medical alert bracelets and more that allow a senior to live safely at home.
In order to qualify for this particular pension, wartime veterans need to be able to prove home care is necessary.
In order to qualify, a physician such as a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) needs to confirm the veteran needs custodial care at home. In other words, the veteran or their surviving spouse needs assistance with activities of daily living such as: preparing meals, bathing, dressing, walking or moving about, grooming and using the bathroom.
Surviving spouses of wartime veterans are also eligible.
Women who never served in the military are eligible for this pension if they were married to a wartime veteran at the time of his death and (in most cases) haven’t remarried.
The application process can take a long time.
There is a backlog at the VA, which means it could take several months, even up to a year, for qualifying veterans to have their application for the Aid and Attendance Benefit approved. It’s essential that any veteran who believes he or she would qualify for this pension and has a need for home care support, begins the application as soon as possible.
In the meantime, finding the right home care support is a good idea.
Booking through an agency is one of the best things anyone can do when they need care and support at home. A home care agency will most likely have numerous aides and other caregivers available to provide services and support to veterans and others who need assistance.
Through an agency, a private-duty caregiver can be hired for just a couple of hours once or twice a week to start. That can be exactly what you need to get a break and have some assistance and support on hand to help with your father or grandfather.
Encourage your father to look into the Aid and Attendance Benefit. He may qualify even if he didn’t serve in combat, serve overseas or sustain a service-connected disability.
If you choose to use your Aid and Attendance funds to pay for private-duty home care, the VetAssist Program may be the right choice for you.
Our VetAssist® Program can help you apply for the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit and access the home care you need right away. For more information and to learn about The VetAssist Program, contact Veteran’s Home Care at (888) 314-6075.