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What Help Is There For Veterans With Alzheimer’s

The Cost Of Memory Care

Persons with Dementia: Skills for Addressing Challenging Behaviors (V16MIR)

Many seniors want to know what memory care would cost them if they were to pay out of pocket. Its a difficult question to answer because memory care can take so many different forms, from paid and unpaid in-home caregivers, to adult daycare, to secure memory care wings in assisted living or nursing home settings.

National surveys can give us an idea of the true cost of memory care, though each situation will be different. A 2015 study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that caregivers yearly out-of-pocket spending to care for patients with dementia in the last five years of life was $61,522. This yearly out of pocket cost is almost twice the cost of out of pocket spending for patients who had cancer or heart disease. For the most part, the out of pocket costs in this survey reflect what caregivers paid after insurances such as Medicare had paid for some services. Out of pocket costs are even higher for those with no health coverage.

Another comprehensive national survey, in this case conducted by Genworth in 2019, provides insight into the costs of various kinds of memory care. The figures below are the median national costs presented in annual figures:

Homemaker services: $51,480Assisted living memory care: $48,612Nursing home memory care: $90,155-$102,200

Additionally, the cost of having a skilled nurse come to your home to care for a dementia patient costs $87.50 per visit, according to the 2019 national median.

The Basics Of Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is a general term referring to cognitive decline that interferes with a persons ability to reason, remember, make choices, and complete normal daily activities. If you are a caregiver of a veteran, having some basic knowledge of dementia can help you understand the challenges the person you care for may be facing and can help you communicate more effectively with doctors.

Types And Costs Of Alzheimers Care

Prior to a discussion of the financial resources available to assist individuals stricken with Alzheimers, it is helpful to understand the different types of Alzheimers and dementia care, how they differ from regular home care or assisted living, and what these services typically cost.; The following information is current for year 2019.

Alzheimers Care at Home

Most home care providers do not charge higher fees for individuals with Alzheimers. Rather, they have a flat rate for home care services and a slightly higher rate for home health care services.; Depending on ones state, as of 2019, this figure ranges from $16 to $28 / hour with a national average of $21 / hour for home care services.; Home health care is just slightly higher ranging from $16 to $30 / hour and a national average of $21.;See each states average home care costs.

the tendency for individuals with dementia to leave the home and become lost presents a challenge for Alzheimers caregiving at home. In residential care, security prevents wandering. But until fairly recently, private residences did not have this option. Now there are internet / smartphone products for real-time location monitoring which can reduce wandering and the cost of caring for loved ones at home. ;Learn more.

Alzheimers Care in Senior Living / Assisted Living Residences

Alzheimers Care in Nursing Homes

Alzheimers Care at Adult Day Care Centers

Cost of Alzheimers Medications

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Why Veterans Are At An Increased Risk For Alzheimer’s

A recent report published by the advocacy group,;Veterans Against Alzheimers, outlines the top findings and statistics on the increased risk to veterans, in an effort to educate and encourage more research and services in preparation for the future impact of the disease.

Included in the brief are the unique factors that seem to increase;a veteran’s risk;for Alzheimers, including:

Using Reverse Mortgages For Alzheimers Care

Veterans Benefits for Alzheimer

The decision on whether or not to use ones home, through a reverse mortgage, to help pay for care is not an easy one.; In many cases, it does not make good economic sense, but in other situations it does.

The two most important factors when considering a reverse mortgage to pay for Alzheimers care are ones marital status and their expected duration of need.

Reverse mortgages come due one year after the homeowner moves from their home.; Given that most individuals with Alzheimers will eventually require residential care, it becomes a question of how many years until that point. ;Should one be at the early stage of the condition and wont require residential care for 5 years, a reverse mortgage might make good sense as a funding resource for occasional assistance around the home. ;However, if one might need to move within 2 years, a reverse mortgage would be considered an expensive source of funds.; The exception to this rule is when the individual with Alzheimers has a healthy spouse who will continue to live in the home when the spouse with Alzheimers moves into a care facility.; In this situation, a reverse mortgage could be a sound decision.;

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Plan To Be Flexible About Care

One of the most important qualities a caregiver can have is flexibility. This is especially true for families who decide to provide care in-home with the help of support programs from the VA. Its important to be willing to change a care plan if its no longer working.

Developments that may require you to change a home memory care plan:

  • The caregivers cognitive or physical health declines, limiting their strength or mobility
  • The veteran develops secondary mobility or health problems that make home care more difficult or impossible
  • The veteran develops a habit of wandering and cannot be confined in the home
  • The caregiver no longer gets enough sleep because of the veterans dementia-related altered sleep habits
  • The veteran becomes too aggressive and hostile for the caregiver to safely interact with when alone
  • The caregiver begins to feel overworked, isolated, unsafe, depressed, or anxious

Even with help from the Aid and Attendance pension, the Homemaker and Home Health Aide Program, or VD-HCBS, the conditions listed above could make providing care at home unrealistic, depending on the exact circumstances.

To truly provide the best care possible, plan to check in with yourself periodically, looking at your needs and the veterans needs. Discuss any new difficulties and concerns with other family members or the veterans social worker, actively seeking out objective opinions on how the home memory care youre providing is working.

New Ongoing And Published Research

VA researchers seek to understand and address the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Some areas of focus for Alzheimer’s research are potential drug therapies, genetic and environmental causes, and long-term care models for patients. Still other researchers are working to better understand the connection between Alzheimer’s and chronic diseases like diabetes.

In addition to these avenues of research, VA investigators are looking at ways to support and nurture family members who care for Veterans with Alzheimer’s disease in their own homes.

For more information about neurological disorders, visit our , , , and topic pages.

If you are interested in learning about joining a VA-sponsored clinical trial, visit our research study;.

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Service Connection By Aggravation

Veterans already in the early stages of dementia when they signed up for military service may be able to file a disability claim due to service connection by aggravation. The veteran applying for disability compensation must be able to prove that military service aggravated the progression of dementia and that the progression did not occur due to the normal course of aging. Medical test results and notes from doctor appointments typically provide proof the VA needs to approve disability compensation under this special category. This is an extremely unlikely scenario since early symptoms of dementia dont typically start until much later in life.

What To Expect After Filing For Aid & Attendance

Wednesday Workshop- Veteran’s Benefits;Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Help in West Palm Beach

Processing A&A applications usually takes between six and eight months. The Veterans Administration will issue and deliver a determination letter that tells applicants if they will receive the A&A benefits. Backlogs of claim processing may occasionally slow the approval and determination process.

Veterans and spouses may need to pay for care while waiting for the VA to approve their application and release funds. The VA will reimburse the applicant for payments dating back to the original filing date.

Applicants aged 90 or older may request expedition of the application process by including a cover letter noting their request with the application. The VA gives priority to veterans and surviving spouses who are aged 90 and older.

Tessera of Brandon

Tessera of Brandon is an assisted living and secured ValeoTM memory care neighborhood located near Tampa, Florida. Our dedicated memory care professionals help veterans living with Alzheimers or other memory impairments enjoy a rich, fulfilling life. At Tessera of Brandon, each residents legacy and passions are honored through custom programming designed to increase awareness, cognition and engagement; create joyful moments and connections; and reduce anxiety or agitation. Contact us today to learn more.

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Service Connection For Dementia

To receive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans must submit a disability claim that connects the dementia diagnosis with military service. The dementia diagnosis must be service-connected in that the veteran developed dementia while completing military service or the military service worsened an existing condition.;

When applying for VA benefits, veterans must have a current dementia diagnosis and describe a specific event or occurrence that caused or exacerbated the condition. The VA refers to this as a medical nexus.;

Traumatic brain injury is a common example of a medical nexus. A veteran who suffered a TBI in combat could easily link that incident to a later dementia diagnosis. Veterans with mental health challenges, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, may need to provide more medical evidence to demonstrate how their health condition developed into dementia. Some VA benefits that veterans with dementia may be able to receive upon approval of their disability claim include:

  • Assisted living care
  • Respite care for caregivers

What Is Long Term Dementia And Memory Care

Our long term dementia and memory care is for loved ones who require hands-on assistance with everyday tasks and are typically in the later stages of dementia. This service provides 24-hour skilled nursing care, personal care and specialized activities to stimulate the mind and senses. Sensory activities, such as using music or something else your loved one once enjoyed, are incorporated into individualized care programs to provide a happier and more fulfilled life. Memory care units are all secure to provide optimal safety for our residents and peace of mind to family.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Aid & Assistance

How do I apply for Aid & Assistance ?

Applying for A&A is as easy as gathering the proper documents, filling out the forms and mailing the completed application along with the documents.

What documents should I include?

Can I start the application process while I get the documents together?

Yes, you can submit the one-page VA Form 21-0966, known as the INTENT TO FILE A CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION AND/OR PENSION, OR SURVIVORS PENSION AND/OR DIC. This gets the claim into the system, saving you time later.

How long will it take the VA to process and approve my application?

It depends on the workload at the VA regional office in your area. While it can take as little as six weeks and as long as 12 months from filing, most approvals take 6 to 8 months.

What are the current A&A benefit rates?

The current A&A benefit rates vary, but can provide up to:

  • $1,830 per month to a veteran
  • $2,903 per month to two veterans married
  • $2,169 per month to a veteran with a spouse
  • $1,176 per month to the surviving spouse of a veteran

Can I apply for the A&A pension if I am already receiving disability compensation from the VA?

No, you cannot receive both disability compensation and the A&A pension. You can file for the Improved Pension based on non-service connected health issues, however, in which the VA will pay for whichever benefit provides the most money to you.

Selected Major Accomplishments In Va Research

Dementia Support Northwest Extends a Hand to Veterans ...
  • 2006: Established the Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases at the San Francisco VA, in collaboration with the Department of Defense and UCSF
  • 2011: Demonstrated the effectiveness of an insulin-based treatment, using a special nasal delivery system, to possibly help ward off Alzheimer’s
  • 2014: Found that vitamin E, an inexpensive treatment, can significantly delay functional decline among patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s
  • 2019: Discovered a link between high LDL cholesterol and early-onset Alzheimer’s
  • 2020: Showed that patients with risk factors for both Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s are at greater risk of functional decline than those with only one factor
  • 2021: In rodent models, found that modulating a key enzyme involved in forming amyloid plaques in the brain could prevent Alzheimer’s

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Medicaid & Hcbs Waivers And Alzheimers Care

Medicaid is a state and federally funded health insurance program for low-income families and the elderly. Each state administers their Medicaid programs separately. Therefore, each state offers different benefits with regards to caring for individuals with Alzheimers or dementia.

Medicaid Waivers are state programs that allow individuals to receive care outside of nursing homes. Instead of requiring institutionalization, Medicaid Waiver participants can receive care, paid for by Medicaid, in their homes, the homes of relatives, and sometimes in adult foster care homes and assisted or senior living residences. Almost all Medicaid Waivers have both financial eligibility requirements and requirements that the participant have functional limitations. Very few, require a specific diagnosis of Alzheimers or dementia. Instead, they consider ones ability or inability to care for themselves by accessing their ability to perform their activities of daily living. From a functional perspective, mid to late stage Alzheimers patients typically qualify for Medicaid benefits quite easily.

For more information on Medicaid and each states waivers, please use the following links: General Medicaid, Home Care Waivers, Assisted Living Waivers, Adult Day Care Waivers, and Adult Foster Care Waivers.

Total Disability Based On Tdiu For Dementia

Total disability based on individual unemployability is another type of VA;disability compensation available to veterans who meet certain qualifications. Applicants must have a single service-connected disability with a rating above 60 percent or two or more service-connected disabilities with a combined rating of at least 70 percent. People approved for this benefit must prove they cannot work at all due to a dementia diagnosis.

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How Alzheimers And Dementia Impact Your Everyday Life

Dementia and Alzheimers do not just affect your ability to remember people, things, and events. These diseases can impact your daily life, sometimes to an extreme extent.

As these diseases progress, it is difficult for the person with Alzheimers to care for themselves. Eating, bathing, oral hygiene, and dressing are no longer second nature. They need assistance to carry them out, either from family members who become caretakers or from hired professional caretakers.

It is not uncommon for dementia and Alzheimers patients to develop urinary or fecal incontinence . Due to the damage to the neurotransmitters and brain cells, reaction time to the urge to use the bathroom is slowed in some cases. In others, it is the inability to fully communicate that can lead to bathroom accidents. Additionally, due to memory loss, some people cannot find or recognize the bathroom, even in their own home. ;

VA Aid and Attendance Benefits vs. VA Disability Benefits

Florida Is Home To Millions Of Veterans

Purposeful activities for dementia: Alzheimer’s Australia VIC

At 1,533,306 veterans, Florida has the third largest veteran population in the nation, according to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs. Only California and Texas have more veterans, at 1,755,680 and 1,670,186 veterans, respectively.

Veterans living in Florida have protected our country in peacetime and through a number of wars. In all, there are 1,139,764 wartime veterans living in Florida and 393,541 peacetime veterans living in the state.

Florida veterans have fought in a number of wars:

  • 65,941 Florida veterans fought in World War II
  • 144,445 served in the Korean War
  • 496,526 are Vietnam-era veterans
  • 190,446 fought in the Gulf War

Floridas veterans are a diverse crowd. There are 1,378,486 male veterans and 154,820 female veterans living in Florida. Most of Floridas veterans are seniors. In fact, there are more than 773,000 veterans 65 years of age and over living in the Sunshine State.

Hillsborough County, home of Tampa, has the most veterans of any county in Florida and the veteran population in that county is growing. According to Hillsborough County, 98,307 veterans lived in the county in 2016, an astounding 5,135 veterans over 2015. These statistics do not include the active duty servicemen and servicewomen residing in the county.

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I Get Disability Compensation From The Va Can I Still Apply For The A&a Pension

Unfortunately, veterans cannot be awarded disability compensation and A&A at the same time. If youre in a situation where you feel you need or qualify for both, you may want to consider applying for an Improved Pension. Improved Pension may be granted based on health issues that arent connected to your time in the service. If your filing is accepted, the VA provides whichever benefit is of the greatest financial value to you.

Michigan Veterans March Again To End Alzheimers Urge People To Open Up Their Wallets

ADRIAN, Mich. ; A group of veterans from the area are getting together once again,;Friday, Sept. 24, to march to raise money for the;Alzheimers Association.

The group did the march carrying military ruck sacks weighing sometimes more than 40 pounds in 2018 and 2019. Last year, they did not have the event due to COVID-19, so this year they have a goal of raising $100,000.

Here are a few statistics about Alzheimers disease from the;Alzheimers Association:

One in three seniors will develop and die with Alzheimers disease or some form of dementia.

Alzheimers kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined each year.

More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimers, and by 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.

Every 65 seconds, someone in the;U.S.;develops the disease.

Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury are two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

Tim Welbaum, an Army veteran who owns;Visiting Angels Senior Homecare Agency;in;Adrian;and has PTSD, is the leader of the veteran marching group.

Welbaum said he does not want his children to have to face the difficulties that come along with caring for a parent or loved one with Alzheimers or other forms of dementia.

In 2018, the vets had more than 30 sponsors and more than 1,000 individual donors who helped the march raise $68,404.

2021 The Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich.

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