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A Long Term Care Story Close to Home

Many of the stories I tell are from clients and prospects that call our office.  This one is more personal, about our marketing director, Amy’s grandparents, Julius and Julia.  Julius was a World War II veteran who died in 1986.  Julia lived independently until 2003, when at age 83 she moved to an assisted living facility.

 Julia lived in that facility for almost 7 years actively participating in events and socializing with other residents.  It was at that point, however, that Amy’s family moved Julia to a nursing home.  They were worried that if she did not have the private funds to pay for her care in a nursing home of their choosing, but applied for Medicaid just before entering a facility, they could not be sure that she would be placed in a suitable nursing home.  So they moved her before she ran out of funds.  She is now 91 and has not handled the move well.  Her health is rapidly deteriorating.  She no longer socializes with other residents and rarely speaks, even to family members who visit.

Amy’s family was unaware of the VA’s Aid and Attendance program, which Julia could have qualified for back in 2003 upon her move to the assisted living facility.  She has lost out on nearly $90,000 in benefits over that 7 year period.  That money could have kept Julia in the place where she had thrived, for possibly 2 more years, before a move had to be made. 

Who knows?  Maybe her dementia would not have progressed as far if she stayed in the environment in which she had grown accustomed.  It’s also possible that she may pass away within those 2 years without ever having to move.  Unfortunately, Amy didn’t know enough about the situation (her family lives out of state), or soon enough, to be able to direct them to an elder law attorney who could have helped them qualify for these benefits.  But she wanted me to tell her family’s story because it illustrates how we can help guide families through the elder care journey if we get to them early enough.  By tapping into any and all possible sources of payment we can often keep your loved ones in the safest and best environment for them, and reduce the likelihood that you are forced to make a decision purely because you are out of money.