How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Oregon

Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Oregon 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 Oregon 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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What is assisted living like?

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

According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Alabama is $48,780 per year, which is significantly less than the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $4,065 and a daily cost of $134. 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 $52,624 for homemaker services and 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 $101,105 for a semi-private room and $107,310 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 Oregon

Oregon has a whole lot to offer. The Oregon Coast is renowned for the stunning cliffs and views of the ocean. It is a popular destination for those in adjoining states that want to get away for a few days. The coastal roads are known for being some of the most scenic routes on the entire Western Seaboard.

The Dalles is home to the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and Museum. Here you can see the remains of a wooly mammoth or check out the raptor center. This is an exciting trip to take when your family visits. The Dalles also has many museums, and a bustling winery and vineyard industry.

In Lebanon vets and their families can enjoy a day on the green at the Mallard Creek Golf Course. McDowell Creek Falls recreation area has many trails, some of which are handicap accessible. This is a good place to have a picnic when you want to get some fresh air. There is plenty of parking so it is easy to get close to trails and park facilities.

Veterans service officer can help veterans find other benefits they are eligible for besides assisting living. Clothing allowances, loans, automobiles purchase grants, and more could be available to you. Officers can also help get you involved with groups that share similar interests and hobbies as you. The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs publishes a benefit magazine annually to help vets figure out what programs and benefits are available to them. Any questions can be answered by calling 503-373-2085. Those that prefer a print copy of the benefit magazine can request one when they call if they are unable to fill out the online form.