How the Aid and Attendance benefit helps veterans in Wisconsin

Receiving aid with daily tasks can make a significant improvement in the quality of life for Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Madison 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 Wisconsin?

According to data culled from Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the average cost of assisted living in Wisconsin is $47,205 per year, which is more than the average nationwide cost of $43,539. This price tag translates to a monthly cost of $3,934 and a daily cost of $129. 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 $51,480 for homemaker services and $52,624 for home health aide services. It also represents a substantial savings in comparison to Wisconsin’s nursing home care costs, which can break down to an annual cost of $93,805 for a semi-private room and $102,200 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 Wisconsin

Chippewa Falls is home to the Old Abe State Trail. This flat and paved trail can be a good place to take a stroll. Since it is so well maintained, it is possible for those with mild or severe mobility issues to navigate it in comfort. There are many golf courses and entertainment venues, so there is always something fun to do in Chippewa Falls.

King is part of Chain O'Lakes, so there are a lot of opportunities to fish or boat. The veterans home is located on a lakeshore so the view is stunning. This home offers a work detail program as well as one dedicated to music and memory. There are barber services, a post office, and a dietician on staff.

The Union Grove nursing facility offers very affordable full service care for veterans. Many different activities are offered each day to residents. These activities include crafts such as leatherwork, wood shop, ceramics, card games, and musical acts. Catholic, Baptist, and Lutheran religious services are offered to residents who want to worship at home.