She had to look up where he was going on a map.
She watched the news each night simultaneously hoping for and afraid of any updates on the war effort she might learn about. She breathlessly opened the mailbox each day praying for a letter from him and word that he was OK.
She reassured their children every day with a confidence she wasn’t sure was warranted that everything was going to be alright.
Her job was to be strong while he was in service to our country. Her job was to help the war effort by singlehandedly holding down the “home front”. She didn’t fight overseas but her contribution was also heroic.
Now all these years later, when she needs care herself, the U.S. Government has not forgotten her sacrifice.
The Aid and Attendance program is a benefit paid by Veterans Affairs (VA) to not only veterans, but also veteran spouses or surviving spouses who need financial help for in-home care, to pay for an assisted living facility or a nursing home. These surprising health care benefits can help more than just our heroes afford Alzheimer’s care.
During my 30-year career in senior housing, I saw firsthand many families get real financial relief when their benefits came through – money they had no idea they could have.
I was shocked to find out how many folks had no idea that they met the criteria to apply. It adds real dollars (sometimes more than $2,000 per month) to eligible veterans and their spouses for their care. That kind of money helps a lot of families better afford care each month.
Contact the VA directly for more information on potential eligibility at Veterans Affairs: 1–800–827–1000 or you can apply online.
There are also many organizations around the country that will help you gather the necessary forms and assist with the application process for a fee. To find out if there is a company that offers this service in your area, check your local listings for “VA Benefits Application Service”.
The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs offers a 20-module series titled Information and Support of in-home Dementia Caregivers.
For further info on Veterans Benefits, see Vet Assistance for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care.
When Caring Takes Courage: A Compassionate, Interactive Guide for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers
Mara’s passion and life’s work has been to learn the best practices which capable caregivers (both professional and family member) use to find success, joy and hope in the face of this devastating disease and find a way to share that information with those who deal with dementia on a day-to-day basis. She is the 2015 Jefferson Award Recipient: Outstanding Public Service, and the 2015 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award Recipient: Outstanding Public Service on Behalf of and Throughout the United States. She continues to be an active speaker and advocate for those impacted by dementia worldwide. Learn more about her work at: www.whencaringtakescourage.com.
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