Information Center...

aka "The Blog"

An ongoing series of informational articles

Financial Assistance for Veterans & Their Surviving Spouses

Veteran's Aid & Attendance

The Aid and Attendance pension program provides benefits for veterans or surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of other personal care needs.  It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity.  Care given in an assisted living facility may also qualify.


Pension Allowances:

The Aid and Attendance pension may provide up to $1,881 monthly to a single veteran, $1,209 monthly for a surviving spouse and $2,230 per month for two married veterans.  (Income, assets and medical expenses will be used to determine eligibility.)


Eligibility:

Any wartime veteran with at least 90 days of active duty, with at least one day of service during a recognized wartime is eligible to apply for the Aid and Attendance pension.  A surviving spouse of a wartime veteran may also apply.  The individual applying for the pension must qualify both medically and financially.


Documents Needed:

There is information that must be gathered and prepared when applying for Aid and Attendance pension.  The following documents/information will be needed. 

  • Discharge/Separation papers (DD214)
  • Copy of marriage certificate (for surviving spouse applicants)
  • Copy of any divorce decrees (veteran and/or surviving spouse)
  • Copy of death certificate (for surviving spouse applicants)
  • Information showing income from all sources
  • Asset information (bank statements, CD's, Trusts, Stocks, Bonds, etc.
  • Listing of all medical expenses including insurance premiums, medications, medical bills, care costs and any other medical expenses not reimbursed by insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
  • Banking information for direct deposit of Aid and Attendance payment

How to Apply:

Contact us through our "Contact Us" page or email [email protected] so that we can discuss your particular case and assist you with the application process.

So Your Loved One Has Dementia....Now What?

Free Dementia Workshop - January 16, 2020 @ 11:30am



Join Us for a *FREE* Dementia Workshop!


"So Your Loved One Has Dementia...Now What?"


We will explore the emotional responses you and your loved ones will experience and the steps to take to ensure families and caregivers have the necessary support to take on future challenges.


***January 16th  from 11:30 - 12:30***

A&M Methodist Church

417 University Drive

in College Station



Please call 979-676-4567 or email [email protected] with questions or for more information.

Hope to see you there!


The Holiday Travel Survival Guide

Tips and Tricks to Help With Holiday Travel

This holiday season, if you're planning on traveling with a loved one that is living with dementia, here are some helpful tips!


1. Plan For Rest Breaks

A senior who has dementia often needs to take a moment, sit down, and get their bearings. That's why you need to plan several rest stops throughout a drive of any real length. That includes bathroom breaks, but also stopping for food, and just getting out of the car and stretching. Keep a conversation going with your loved one, because if they're having a good day, you might only need to stop once or twice. If it isn't such a good day, though, you may need to stop more often.


2. Keep Your Time Expectations Realistic

We all know how to plan our trips based on realistic expectations. We look at the weather, we check the traffic, and add or subtract time based on the conditions. A senior with dementia is one more factor to consider. How bad is today? How long does it take them to get ready? You know your loved one, so take a moment to evaluate them, and see how the day is likely going to go.


3. Have A Safety Route In Mind

While your loved one might not be made out of glass, dementia is a difficult condition to live with. Which is why it's important to make sure there is always a safety route in mind, in case there's an emergency, or something happens. While it takes additional time and consideration to plan out, when you need it, you'll be glad you have it.


4. Be Prepared

Be prepared for the car ride and have everything you need on hand. For example, have several plans of action for activities. Try something like looking for different colored objects along the trip and naming them as you see them. Seniors with dementia may have short attention spans and this will keep the mind active.

Additionally, bring changes of clothes and toiletry items such as wipes, especially for senior who suffer incontinence or become easily nauseated when traveling.


5. Don't Force Conversations

If your senior is content to sit quietly and take in the scenery, don't force conversation or activities. They may be enjoying the trip in their own quiet way.  Just go with it. Remember, the less confrontation, the better.

When you are talking with your senior, speak slowly and in a calming voice to reassure. Remind the senior frequently of the reason for the trip if they forget.


6. Keep Things as Familiar as Possible

You can do this by picking a destination that your loved one may have spent time before the onset of dementia. You can also choose a destination that will allow you to stick closely to your daily routine.


7. Be Alert to Wandering

No doubt, you'll make sure your loved one sticks closely by your side. However, there's nothing wrong with taking extra precautions. Consider getting them an ID bracelet in case you get separated.





Taking the Mystery Out of Levels of Care

A Simplified Guide to the Levels of Care Available to the Geriatric Population

Attempting to navigate the different levels of care that are available to serve the senior population can be confusing.  We assembled this quick reference guide as a tool for you to reference.


Acute Care – Hospitals

• This includes both In-Patient and Observation Admissions

• Traditional Medicare plans require a three (3) midnight stay in order to activate funding for Skilled Nursing Admissions

• Texas Senior Advocates has partnered with the Scott & White Geriatric Team in an effort to provide advocacy, support and education to their at risk geriatric patients


Acute Care – LTAC (Long Term Acute Care Hospital)

• This level of care is designed to provide care to patients that require prolonged mechanical ventilation and intensive medical interventions

• Typical length of patient stay is anticipated to be greater than 25 days


Sub Acute Hospitals

• Heavy focus is placed on patient rehabilitation services, including Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy services.

• Typical length of patient stay is less than two (2) weeks.

• Patient discharge plans begin upon admission


Skilled Nursing Facilities – Short Term Rehabilitation

• Short Term Rehabilitation admissions focus on Nursing, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy services.

• Functional Therapy and patient education is the primary goal of the short term rehabilitation admission

• Typical length of patient stay is approximately thirty (30) days or less

• Traditional Medicare plans allow for one-hundred (100) covered skilled nursing days per year, however, the patient must meet eligibility criteria to access this benefit


Skilled Nursing Facilities – Long Term Custodial Care

• Long Term Custodial Care provides private and shared room accommodations, meals, medication management, clinical oversight, activities, laundry, housekeeping and transportation

• Private pay and Medicaid funded options are available at all licensed

Skilled Nursing Facilities

• Some Skilled Nursing Facilities accept “Medicaid Pending” patients, this varies from facility to facility


Memory Care Communities/Neighborhoods

• Residential Care Communities that are often affiliated with an Assisted Living. Certified Memory Care Communities have received a special designation from TX Health & Human Services to provide residential, personal and medical care to patients with memory impairment

• These communities/neighborhoods do not receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, the resident pays privately

• The VA Aid & Attendance pension benefit is available to qualified Veteran’s and their surviving spouses to assist with offsetting the cost of care

• These Communities offer a secure residential setting which is ideal for the geriatric patient that lacks safety awareness


Assisted Living Communities

• Residential Care Communities licensed by TX Health & Human Services that provide residential, personal and medical care to seniors, typically over the age of 60

• These Communities do not receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, the resident pays privately

• The VA Aid & Attendance pension benefit is available to qualified Veteran’s and their surviving spouses to assist with offsetting the cost of care


Independent Living Communities

• Independent Living Communities do not require licensing by TX Health & Human Services at this time. These Communities offer all-inclusive lifestyles for seniors that are still able to provide for their own care needs

• These Communities do not receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, the resident pays privately

• The VA Aid & Attendance pension benefit is not available for this level of care


In-Home Care

• These agencies provide non-medical in-home care (personal care, supervision, meal preparation & light housekeeping services)

• Medicare does not fund for this level of care

• In some cases, Medicaid will fund for a limited number of hours per month for this level of care

• The VA Aid & Attendance pension benefit may be available for this level of care



Copyright © 2019-2020, Texas Senior Advocates. All Rights Reserved.