How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Mississippi
Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 to receive A&A benefits could take several months to complete. However, when approved applicants receive their benefits, they will do so retroactive to the original application date. And Mississippi has a wealth of valuable resources that can help veterans navigate this process or any other veteran benefit related process. he Bureau of Mississippi Veterans’ Service provides the state’s veterans a wide array of services that include assistance with VA claims, assisted living homes, legal representation, and more. The organization also works in tandem with various County Veterans’ Services Offices (CVSOs) to help vets and their families with benefits, referrals, and various forms of advocacy. To find the CVSO nearest you, visit www.Mississippi.gov/dvem/bvs/offices.
What is assisted living like?
There is some variance in assisted living facilities. The facilities that are located in larger cities like Jackson 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 Mississippi?
According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Mississippi 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 $38,896 for homemaker services and home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Mississippi’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $76,285 for a semi-private room and $79,030 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 Mississippi
The Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board features numerous programs that are designed to provide support and service to the state’s veterans. These services include housing services, e-mail notifications regarding local events, specialized support programs, and more. Mississippi also features several military-centric recreational points of interests that seniors can enjoy as part of a day out, an assisted living field trip, or a family visit. Furthermore, many of the destinations also feature veteran volunteer programs, which could enable seniors the chance to share stories and their firsthand knowledge on the subject material with visitors, particularly young children.
Arguably the most famous of these military-themed points of interest is the Vicksburg National Military Park. This space commemorates the Civil War battle that took place in this city; a skirmish that is considered by many to be a turning point to the Civil War. Those that gravitate toward the Gulf of Mexico can pay a visit to the GI Museum, a venue that shines the spotlight on the brave men and women from Mississippi that bravely served the country.