Veterans are really no different than anyone else. Just because they haven’t served in a few years or even decades doesn’t mean they have completely left behind their training, camaraderie, or personality they developed while in service, but that also doesn’t mean they will act completely different from most other men and women. Sometimes, veterans will refuse in-home care support for the very same reasons other seniors and disabled adults do: it could be a matter of pride, naivety, or they assume they can’t afford it.
What if they can’t afford home care aides?
If a veteran cannot pay for a home care aide because he or she only has a limited pension or Social Security disability payment coming in, they will likely struggle with their own basic care. They might lean on family and friends, but they will often have a lower quality of life because there are so many things they are missing out on.
For those veterans who are limited in their income and assets and are considered ‘wartime veterans,’ they just might qualify for what is known as the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
This pension provides financial assistance to pay for home care support.
In order to qualify, a veteran needs to have served a minimum of 90 days active duty in one of the major branches of the United States military. At least one day of active duty service needs to have overlapped a time of official combat. This would include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. If they served any time during the Gulf War, their minimum time of service needs to be two years.
They also must be able to show on their application that home care support is necessary for safety, quality of life, or getting through each day, such as performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
If the veteran is adamant about refusing in-home care support for other reasons, it may require some carefully planned conversations, discussions about the future, talking about things they can no longer do (but might be able to with the right support) and to get them realizing that this has no bearing on their life, independence, or autonomy in any other way besides having an experienced home care aide supporting them with the things they need help most.
Not everyone is going to accept home care support when they need it, but when they have family and friends encouraging them, giving them truthfully, honest answers about what this level of support is, more people begin to open up to the idea and that could very well be the first step in the right direction.