Photo by Karen Barefoot
On Memorial Day, Crossroads Hospice remembers the brave men and women who have lost their lives while serving our country in the armed forces. However, the words "Never Forget" take on new meaning for the families of Veterans living with dementia.
As dementia progresses, more and more help is needed. Formerly sharp-minded Veterans may have trouble recognizing family and friends, get lost in familiar places, or exhibit mood swings. Studies have shown that Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a higher risk of developing dementia.
There are resources available to assist Veterans with dementia and their families in meeting this challenge.
Improved Veteran Pension Benefits
Aid and Attendance and Housebound Improved Pension – These benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs can cover the costs of caregivers in the home (including sons and daughters who are paid to be caregivers, though not spouses). They can also be used for assisted living or nursing home care.
Aid and Attendance is an improved pension benefit for Veterans and their surviving spouses who require aid from another person for “bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting yourself from the hazards of your daily environment.”
The Housebound benefit may be available when you are you are substantially confined to your immediate premises because of permanent disability. This disability does not need to be service-related.
A Veteran or surviving spouse may not receive Aid and Attendance benefits and Housebound benefits at the same time.
Veterans with dementia and their caregivers can receive free assistance in determining their eligibility and applying for these benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs Vet Center nearest them.
Adult Day Health Care for Veterans with Dementia
Veterans with dementia who require extra care during the day may be eligible for Adult Day Health Care in their community, giving their caregivers a much needed break and peace of mind. These centers provide skilled services, case management, and the opportunity for social interaction. It is part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, so all Veterans are eligible as long as they meet the clinical requirements.
Real Heroes Wear Dog Tags
As a partner in the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program, Crossroads Hospice has demonstrated a proven commitment to providing the unique support Veterans need.
For more Crossroads-Hospice-specific Veteran caregiver support and stories, visit the Crossroads Hospice Real Heroes Wear Dog Tags series.
To learn more about the Evenmore care program Crossroads offers Veterans with dementia, please visit our website or call us at 1-888-564-3405.
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