Recently I finished reading the insightful and often hilarious memoir, Can We Please Talk About Something More Pleasant? by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. The book details Ms. Chast’s experiences supporting her parents as they aged, managed dementia, moved into assisted living, worked with caregivers, and eventually passed away.
Ms. Chast’s mother was able to remain in assisted living and avoid a nursing home, even when her medical and care needs worsened, because she was able to pay for additional caregivers providing around-the-clock care. Many of our elderly clients express the desire to live at home (or in as homelike an environment as possible), for as long as they can.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford this level of care.
This is where the Aid and Attendance program from the Veteran’s Administration can be a tremendous support for caregiving families. Qualifying veterans or their widowed spouses can receive up to $2,054 for the veteran and over $1,113 to the spouse, per month to assist with medical expenses and long-term care needs. To qualify, the veteran has to have served 90 days of active duty, one of which was during a period of war, and has to have a not dishonorable discharge. There also are rules to follow about income and assets, but these rules can be more generous than other rules that apply to Medicaid.