Another Option For Veterans – State Run Veterans Homes
January 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
It is never easy to face having to place your loved one in an assisted living facility. Besides the emotional strain of convincing your parent and yourself that it’s the right thing to do, there is also the stress of finding a good home that can take care of your elder’s needs. A resource that is often overlooked for veterans are state run veterans homes.
Veterans Homes are owned and operated by the state they are located in and the VA provides financial assistance to help cover operational costs. The homes may vary but many times they provide a variety of services including assisted living, hospice care, rehabilitation programs and adult day care.
While the homes do receive some government funding to help cover part of the daily costs of care, residents are still responsible to pay for care in a veterans home. Residents have to rely on the same resources just like they would for any other assisted living facility. Residents may use Medicare or Medicaid, long-term care insurance or private funds to pay for a veterans home. Some veterans may also qualify for additional veterans’ benefits.
Many times when Veterans Homes are discussed, two of the most common fears elders have are their spouse will not be able to join them and they will have to leave their regular doctor for a VA doctor. Many times this is not the case. Depending on space available, spouses and surviving spouses may also receive care in a state veterans home. Also there is no need to give up their regular doctor unless they choose to change to a VA doctor.
So how do you know if your veteran qualifys? Eligibility may vary state to state but the basic requirements are as follows:
- Honorably discharged veteran (some states also allow National Guard)
- Resident of the state where the home is located
- Veterans must have some sort of disability (age, disease, wound, etc.)
- Many times veterans with service related disabilities have preference
To help you find a state veterans home that is right for your elder, there are resources like the National Association of State Veterans Homes (http://www.nasvh.org). This organization works to maintain a high standard of care at state veterans homes. The VA has a directory of veteran affairs websites for every state and most of these sites have information about their state’s homes. Your local VA medical center should be able to educate you about area veterans homes. Medicare also maintains a rating system for veterans homes at their website medicare.gov, which will help you learn how good of a facility you state has.
Unfortunately because of the high demand, many state veterans homes have a waiting list. If your parent is interested in one of these facilities it is usually a good idea to visit the home and get your elder’s name on the waiting list before you reach a crisis point. As I say so many times on this blog, being prepared and having a plan in place will help your family mentally and emotionally when the time comes to act.
If you have any questions or need assistance determining your VA benefits, please contact the Law Office of Dawn M. Weekly, PC. The law firm is located in Sandwich, Illinois and focuses on elder law and Life Care Planning for clients. Their office may be reached by calling 815-570-2334.