How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Georgia
Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Georgia 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 Georgia 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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While the application process to receive Aid and Attendance Pension benefits may take several months from start to finish, applicants who are approved can receive benefits that are retroactive to the original application date. If you need help with this process, Georgia has plenty of resources in place that can help you with your questions or needs. Georgia Department of Veterans Services (GDVS) offers the state’s veterans a complete slate of services that can range from assisted living homes and providing legal aid to claims representation. What’s more, the GDVS works in tandem with the state’s Veterans Field Service Offices to provide help with vets and their family members with a wide assortment of benefits, referrals, and other forms of advocacy. To get connected to the Veterans Field Service Office nearest you, visit www.veterans.georgia.gov/field-offices.
What is assisted living like?
There is some variance in assisted living facilities. The facilities that are located in larger cities like Atlanta 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 Georgia?
According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Georgia is $34,200 per year, which is below the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $2,850 and a daily cost of $94. 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 $41,184 for homemaker services and home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Georgia’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $69,350 for a semi-private room and $74,095 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 Georgia
The GDVS runs a wide array programs that provide service and support to Georgia’s veterans. Select services include veteran housing, event notification via e-mail, and specialized support programs for women, minority, and LGBTQ vets. Georgia is also home to a wealth of military-themed tourist attractions and points of interest. Collectively, these venues make terrific destinations for day out, a field trip with fellow assisted living residents, or a family visit. A lot of these special destinations also welcome veterans on a volunteer basis, which allows each vet to share their stories and insights with visitors of all ages.
Fort Stewart Military Museum in Hinesville is known for being the largest military post in the country east of the Mississippi River. It maximizes its impressive size by showcasing rotating exhibits and artifacts ranging from World War II to current conflicts. For those that are interested in exploring Georgia’s role in the Civil War, a trip to Chickamauga National Military Park in Fort Oglethorpe may be in order. The landmark is the site of the first major Civil War battlefield that was designated as a memorial for the soldiers that lost their lives there, which totaled 34,000 over the course of three days. If you want to go even further back into American military history, the American Legion Military Museum and Post Café in Trenton is home to several artifacts dating back to the Revolutionary War.