How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Idaho

Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Idaho 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 Idaho 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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The application process needed to receive this benefit is one that is a bit long to accomplish - it could take several months from start to finish. However, once veterans are approved, the funds they receive are retroactively distributed to the initial start of the process. Additionally, Idaho offers several resources to help you out with the process if need be. The state’s Division of Veteran Services provides the Idaho veterans with a vast array of services, ranging from assisted living homes to claims representation. Idaho also works in concert with the Office of Veterans Advocacy (OVA) to provide further aid with benefits, referrals, healthcare options, and more. In order to be connected to the OVA nearest you, visit, go to the Office of Veterans Advocacy page, and find the appropriate region.

What is assisted living like?

There is some variance in assisted living facilities. The facilities that are located in larger cities like Boise 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 Idaho?

According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Idaho is $38,400 per year, which is below the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $3,200 and a daily cost of $105. 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 $45,760 for homemaker services and home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Idaho’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $83,585 for a semi-private room and $88,878 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 Idaho

Idaho’s Division of Veteran Services is in charge of several programs built to provide support and service to the state’s veterans, including housing services, support programs, e-mail updates on local events and services, and more. Idaho is also home to several military-themed points of interest that are found throughout the state. These tourist-friendly venues can make for a great day out, a terrific assisted living field trip, or a great spot for a family visit. Many of these destinations also welcome veterans as volunteers, where they can share stories and provide unique insight to visitors, especially younger patrons.

The primary military attraction in Idaho is the Idaho Military History Museum. Located in Boise, this museum is home to several exhibits that showcase the state’s involvement in keeping the country protected, with a special emphasis on the U.S. Navy. Guests can also stop by the Farragut Naval Training Station in upstate Idaho inside Farragut State Park. The venue features the Museum at the Brig, home of various boot camp and war memorabilia as well as several historic prison cells.