How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Alabama

Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Alabama seniors. For those who served the country bravely, the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Pension program is available to help make this level of improvement a little more attainable. Eligible Alabama vets and their surviving spouses can qualify should they need aid in various activities for daily living (also known as ADLs). These tasks could include rudimentary functions like bathing, dressing, eating, transportation for errands and appointments, and medication management, although it should be noted that eligible applicants don’t need to require aid with everything in order to qualify. A&A recipients can utilize these funds to help pay for costs associated with home care, skilled nursing home care, or assisted living.

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What is assisted living like?

There is some variance in assisted living facilities. The facilities that are located in larger cities like Birmingham will be ideal for those that still want to be close to metropolitan perks such as restaurants, shops, and cultural activities. On the flip side, those who prefer the quiet nature of suburbia may gravitate toward an assisted living community in a bedroom community, where parks and familiar chain retailers rule the day.

The facilities also have variances based on interests. Some places are run by religious organizations and feature various activities and observances that are in line with the particular faith’s belief system. There are also homes that are wholly dedicated to serving veterans, which may be of interest to vets that want to spend their days enjoying the inimitable spark of camaraderie amongst those that have proudly served their country.

Each assisted living facility is home to various services that are contained within the monthly room and board fee. Basic services typically include key elements for proper senior care-fueled living, such as private living spaces, 24-hour security and nurse access, call buttons in the rooms in case of a sudden emergency, meals, housekeeping, utilities, and laundry. These essential services can be augmented for an extra fee. Extra services that could be added include salon care, massage therapy, and personalized laundry and transportation service. Because these latter services vary from venue to venue, it is always a wise idea to research to see what is included and what is constituted as an add-on perk at every assisted living facility considered. It is also prudent to ask if the facility also offers continuum of care, in which a resident can stay on the campus should their assisted living needs change over time.

What does assisted living cost in Alabama?

According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Alabama is $34,800 per year, which is significantly less than the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $2,900 and a daily cost of $95. Precise costs will vary based on the city and the region that the facility is located in, but as a whole, the average cost is comparable to the state’s annual home health care costs, which checks out at $36,608 for homemaker services and $37,752 for home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Alabama’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $71,175 for a semi-private room and $75,190 for a private room.

Veterans and their spouses that do qualify for the A&A Pension Benefit can utilize the benefits they receive to help cover the assisted living costs. The benefit can provide upwards of $1,794 per month to a vet, $1,153 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,127 per month to a couple. A veteran that files with a sick spouse can be eligible for as much as $1,410 per month.

Resources for veterans in Alabama

ADVA runs several programs that are designed to serve and support Alabama’s veterans, which include housing services, support programs, online and e-mail updates on local services and events, and more. Alabama is also home to several military-themed points of interest that can make for a terrific assisted living field trip, a visit with family, or just a regular day out. Many of these special destinations also welcome veterans as volunteers, where they can share stories and firsthand knowledge to visitors, particularly those of younger generations. The World War II Battleship U.S.S. Alabama is docked in Mobile, and is noted for being one of the state’s most visited attractions. The massive ship is situated along with the submarine U.S.S. Drum at a beautifully landscape park along Mobile Bay, and both are available to explore through self-guided tours.

The state is also home to an abundance of Civil War-related points of interest, with each landmark telling their own tale on the infamous battle. Some of these military touchstones, such as Fort Morgan along the state’s Gulf Shores, have military roots that pre-date Civil War and can spin yarns about seminal battles such as the War of 1812.

While some of these military points of interest feature well-preserved physical structures, others represent historic landscapes in which key wartime skirmishes occurred. Some of more famous of these sites are linked to incidents such as the Battle of Fort Blakeley and the Battle of Rot Charlotte; a somewhat obscure battle that occurred in Alabama during the Revolutionary War. In some cases, these particular landscapes are dotted with re-constructed buildings or leftover, well-preserved artifacts such as weaponry.