Veterans who have served their country deserve the right to enjoy their retirement years in peace. It would be ideal if veterans would never find themselves in hardship or in need of support, but unfortunately, many find themselves struggling through medical and/or financial difficulties. Fortunately, there are resources available to lighten the burden.
As a veteran, there are a number of pensions, stipends and caregiver services available for you to use. In some instances, senior veterans may not realize how many programs and benefits are in place to help them, what they can be used for, or how to apply. Veterans of the United States Armed Forces should take the necessary measures to ensure that they are receiving their deserved benefits, earned in exchange for their courageous sacrifice and service.
1. Medical alert systems
Aging veterans have access to several Medicare benefits, in addition to a variety of veteran programs and non-profit programs. If the veteran is unaware of these benefits and services, they may find themselves in dire need of assistance without the resources in place. In most cases, a medical alert system embodies everything that an aging veteran may need. Medical alerts offer monitoring 24/7. They are easy to use and help can be summoned by simply pressing an alert button.
Advanced systems also include technology that incorporates GPS tracking and fall detection. In short, medical alert systems can serve as a safety net that protects the veteran around the clock.
2. Resources for disabled veterans
Veterans living with disabilities may find it difficult to maneuver through everyday life. One program that may be able to help is the Veterans Aging in Place program. In this program, volunteers help aging veterans to modify their homes to better suit their specific needs. There are also benefits and additional stipends available to veteran caregivers.
Seniors living with disabilities may also change their entire wardrobe, since wearing regular clothes may become a challenge. Adaptive clothing is available to war and disabled veterans. Adaptive clothing comes with many benefits, including openings that are easier for the wearer to change, eliminating unnecessary struggles. Veterans who may have lost a limb, or are confined to a wheelchair, may find that adaptive clothing can assist them to dress themselves with less effort.
3. Pensions and insurance options
Veterans are eligible for a variety of life insurance options. The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance is available for active duty servicemen, and the policy can later be converted into Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. Aging veterans who suffer from paraplegia, blindness, or have undergone an amputation due to their military service are eligible for Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection.
Finally, Service-Disabled Veterans’ Life Insurance is available to disabled veterans of any kind. Additionally, all veterans who served during wartime are eligible to receive supplementary income if they are at least 65 years old and have served at least 90 days of active duty.
4. Department of Veteran Affairs benefits
Nearly two million aging veterans and their surviving spouses qualify for billions of dollars each year in VA benefits. Some veterans are unfamiliar with the available benefits offered by the Department of Veteran Affairs. A Department of Veterans Affairs benefit known as the Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension benefit, or A&A, is put in place to cover the costs of in-home caregivers. Benefits can be paid to sons and daughters who are caregivers but not to spouses.
The benefit is not insignificant, and averages to be $2,000 monthly for a veteran and spouse, and up to $1,000 for the widow of a veteran. The benefit can also be used to cover the costs associated with assisted living and nursing home care. Through the Department of Veteran Affairs, aging Veterans are eligible to receive geriatric and long-term care in their homes, at VA medical centers, or at other facilities in the community.
There are many organizations, programs and resources available for aging veterans. If the veteran qualifies, assistance could make a great difference in the quality of life the senior enjoys. As with most government organizations and agencies, finding the right resources may require an investment of time. In many instances, multiple organizations or agencies can provide assistance simultaneously.
To simplify the process, all pertinent military information and records should be gathered, including discharge paperwork, dates of service, and all military medical history. Having this information readily available will help to expedite the process in getting the veteran the benefits and assistance they deserve and may need.