How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Florida
Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Florida 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 Florida 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 dressing, bathing, 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 also utilize these funds to help pay for costs associated with home care, skilled nursing home care, or assisted living.
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Granted, the application process to receive the Aid and Attendance benefit is one that is rather long, and it could take several months from beginning to end. However, applicants that get approved will receive retroactive benefits that can be traced back to the original application date. And there are plenty of resources available should you need help in getting the process going. The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs provides the state’s vets with a full selection of services designed to help them out. This includes assisted living homes, legal aid, help with Veterans Administration claims, and more. What’s more, the organization works in concert with Florida’s County Veteran Service Offices (CVSO) in order to help vets and their families with benefits, referrals, and advocacy in general. To find the closest CVSO nearest you, visit www.floridavets.org.
What is assisted living like?
There is some variance in assisted living facilities. The facilities that are located in larger cities like Orlando 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 Florida?
According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Florida is $36,540 per year, which is below the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $3,045 and a daily cost of $100. Precise costs will vary based on the city and the region that the facility is located in. The state’s annual home health care costs check in at $43,328 for homemaker services and $45,188 for home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Florida’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $89,060 for a semi-private room and $100,375 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 and recreation for veterans in Florida
The Florida Department of Veterans Affairs operates several programs to serve and support the state’s numerous veterans. These services include specialized support groups, housing services, e-mail updates on events, and more. The Sunshine State is also home to several museum-themed points of interest that share the history and pageantry of the country’s armed forces in many different ways. These attractions can serve as great destinations for a day out, an assisted living field trip, or for the times when the family comes into town. What’s more, a lot of the destinations also have programs where veterans can volunteer, which allows them to share their stories and acumen with tourists of all ages.
In the greater Tampa area, the Armed Forces History Museum is home to 10,000 military-themed artifacts and 50 operational vehicles, not to mention exhibits that shine the spotlight on World Wars I and II. If you need a break from the usual tourist stuff in the Orlando area, a trip to the Armed Forces Military Museum will provide you with a tremendous respite. Here, you will be able to see dioramas, weaponry, and other exhibits regarding a wide range of conflicts, from the Civil War to the conflicts that are still going on today. If you head to the southeast part of the state, you’ll be able to see aircraft, artillery, and other military paraphernalia at the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale Museum.