What is the Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefit?

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 

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Many seniors and their families automatically rule out senior living because they assume there’s no way they can afford it. Not so fast; especially if you are a wartime veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran. There’s a benefit known as Aid and Attendance which can significantly expand your buying power for senior living. Here’s how.

Veterans Aid and Attendance Overview

The Aid & Attendance benefit was established in the 1950s to help wartime veterans or their surviving spouse pay for care in independent living, assisted living, home health care, adult day care or skilled nursing by providing monthly payments in addition to their monthly VA pension.

For more information on preparing financially for retirement, check out our Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing!

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Who is Eligible for Veterans Aid and Attendance?

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, you may be eligible for the Aid & Attendance benefit if you receive a VA pension and meet at least one of these medical requirements:

  • You need another person to help you perform daily activities, like bathing, feeding and dressing.
  • You have to stay in bed – or spend a large portion of the day in bed – because of illness.
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to the loss of mental or physical abilities related to a disability.
  • Your eyesight is limited (even with glasses or contact lenses you have only 5/200 or less in both eyes; or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less).

How Aid and Attendance Can Help with Senior Living Costs

By giving you or your loved one increased buying power, the Aid and Attendance benefit helps in two ways:

  • It opens up more options when it comes to choosing the senior living community that fits your needs best.
  • It also gives you peace of mind in being able to stay in the community longer than your budget otherwise may have allowed.

What’s more, the Aid and Attendance benefit is tax free and paid directly to you by the Treasury Department.

How to Apply for Veterans Aid and Attendance

To apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit simply send a completed VA form to the Pension Management Center (PMC) that serves your state. Find your PMC here. You may also apply in person at a VA office near you.

There are local experts who will work for you in walking you through the application process. Fees are typically associated with this support. Our community sales directors can provide information should you want to go this route.

Keep in mind that it can take six months or more for your application to be approved so it’s better to plan ahead than to wait until the need for senior living is urgent. However, the VA does retroactively from the date of application once it’s approved.

For more information, check out our Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing!

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