SEATTLE, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM), the nation's largest senior living referral service, 69 percent of veterans and their families who are 55 or older are not aware of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Aid & Attendance benefit, which provides financial assistance to help pay for assisted living care for veterans and their spouses. The poll surveyed more than 2000 Americans of whom 638 are or have a family member who is a veteran 55 years or older.
As the supply of senior housing struggles to meet the needs of the U.S. senior population, the cost of care for seniors is steadily increasing. Simultaneously, Americans are finding that they are financially unprepared for both retirement and aging. Due to these factors, planning and overseeing care for an elderly loved one has become a source of strain for many families.
"The survey results highlight what our advisors have found to be true based on our work with nearly 200,000 veterans since 2010: there is a gap in awareness when it comes to financial resources available to veterans and their spouses seeking assisted living care," said Jennifer Mellet, Vice President of Senior Living Advising, A Place for Mom. "Veterans and their spouses are often eligible for benefits, but the process to apply is not well-promoted, or may be so complicated that families are unsure where to begin. Our goal is to raise awareness and help our nation's veterans access the support they need as they seek senior care solutions."
Linda Coleman, a Tampa-based Senior Living Advisor with A Place for Mom who frequently works with veterans, notes that while there are several required qualifications for the VA Aid & Attendance benefit, one can begin determining eligibility by considering three factors:
- Any Veteran with 90 days of consecutive active duty services
- Any Veteran who served at least one day during active war time
- The surviving spouse of a Veteran, if married at the time of Veteran's death
The VA Aid & Attendance benefit applies to individuals who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in bathing, dressing, meal preparation, medication monitoring or other activities of daily living. This benefit is available to individuals who reside in assisted living communities, residential care homes, skilled nursing facilities and those receiving personal in-home care. Benefits for Veterans, couples and a surviving spouse can range anywhere from $1000 - $2600 a month in financial assistance.
Helpful Resources for Families of Veterans
Since 2010, A Place for Mom has helped 187,000 veterans find senior care and housing options. To help families understand the financial resources available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the process to apply for the Aid & Attendance benefit, A Place for Mom now offers on its website the ebook "VA Benefits and Long-Term Care: Guide to Aid and Attendance," among many other helpful resources.
About A Place for Mom
A Place for Mom, Inc. (APFM) is the nation's largest senior living referral service providing resources and personalized assistance in finding senior living services. Using its nationwide network of more than 18,000 providers, APFM helps families find options based on a loved one's stated needs, preferences and budget. This may include independent senior housing, home care, residential care homes, assisted living communities and specialized Alzheimer's memory care. The service is offered at no charge to families as providers pay a fee to APFM. For more information, visit www.aplaceformom.com, call 1-877-311-6099 or visit one of APFM's social networks at Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Senior Living Blog and Pinterest.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of A Place for Mom from November 6-8, 2013 among 2,051 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact TraceyF@aplaceformom.com.
SOURCE A Place for Mom