3 Resources to Support Veterans Facing Alzheimer’s

By Jason A. Penrod

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that nearly half a million American veterans have Alzheimer’s and as the population ages, that number is expected to grow. And if that does not get your attention; Did you know that more than 60% of the VA’s cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s is for nursing home care?

The bright side is that there is potential assistance for our military veterans and their families. Here are three Veterans Affairs (VA) resources you can utilize: 

  1. Aid and attendance allowance is a much-underused pension benefit that can provide some money to cover costs for assistance performing everyday tasks. You may be eligible for this benefit if you get a VA pension and you meet at least one of the requirements listed below:
    • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding, and dressing, or
    • You have to stay in bed—or spend a large portion of the day in bed—because of illness, or
    • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability, or
    • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less).
  1. The Program of General Caregiver Support Services provides peer support mentoring, skills training, coaching, telephone support, online programs and referrals to available resources to caregivers of veterans. The individual must be enrolled in VA health care and be receiving care from a caregiver in order for the caregiver to participate.  
  1. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is for eligible veterans who have incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty on or before May 7, 1975 or on or after September 11, 2001. This program provides resources, education, support, a financial stipend, health insurance (if eligible) and beneficiary travel (if eligible), to caregivers of eligible Veterans.

To learn more about these resources, join VA coordinators Gabrielle Tapia and Scott M. Burns along with board-certified elder law attorney Jason A. Penrod in a collaborative webinar about how the VA and Alzheimer’s Association can provide substantive help to veteran families confronting Alzheimer’s. This free webinar will take place on Thursday, December 2 from 1 – 3 p.m. ET.

Register today for the Navigating Veterans’ Resources Program.

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