Aging Colorado Veteran Population Creates Care Opportunities
Colorado is home to approximately 143,000 veterans who served in WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars. From the beaches at Normandy, the frigid mountains of North Korean and the harrowing jungles of Vietnam; our veterans fought valiantly in the name of freedom. We can never repay those who sacrificed so much, but we can remember them by name.
Allan R. Simpson enlisted in the Army when he was just 17 years old. As he completed his basic training at Schofield Army base in Hawaii, he had no idea that he would endure some of the most grueling conditions in the Chosin Reservoir region of North Korea. Working as an Army Mountaineer, Simpson’s assignment was demolishing bridges to prevent enemy troop mobilization in regions where temperatures regularly dipped to 25 below zero. Honorably discharged after 3 years of service, Simpson endured chronic medical conditions tied to the severe frostbite he acquired while in North Korea. Allan R. Simpson, and all those who served before and after him, are heroes.
As Colorado’s 143,000 WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans age rises, the need for skilled nursing and assisted Living facilities has increased. The Veterans Administration offers skilled nursing facilities in Colorado, however there are no VA Assisted Livings in Colorado.
The dream of providing room and board, quality medication oversight, transportation, and a welcoming homestyle environment became a passion for Crestview Assisted Living’s owner Rick Simpson when he learned of this gap in care.
“My dad served and sacrificed. I wanted to do something tangible to give back”.
- Rick Simpson
Launching in 2021, nine veterans have made the Allan R. Simpson Veterans Residential Care Quarters home! Many of whom have used their Aid and Attendance benefits to offset costs.
Upon reflection of the facilities first highly successful year, Simpson said,
“We mean it when we say, ‘Because you served first…It is our greatest honor to now serve you’”.
Crunching Numbers and Counting Pennies May Not Be Necessary Thanks to Aid and Attendance Benefits!
Deciding that it is time to move Mom or Dad into assisted living is never easy. Finding the right place where they will thrive is hard enough. When financial resources are tight, it is even more difficult to find a place that they can call home. As a Care Director, I speak regularly to those who are looking for assisted living placement. As we talk, one of the first questions I ask is if their mom or dad served during a time of war. That may sound like an odd question however, there is a very important reason for it.
Did you know if your parent served during a time of war, and are age 65 or older, they may be eligible for a TAX FREE benefit called Aid and Attendance through the VA? Aid and Attendance provides money that helps pay for assisted living as veterans age. While the process of applying can be a little tedious, there are incredible Veterans organizations that work everyday to help navigate the application process. Most veterans and their spouses start receiving their benefits in just a few months after their application is submitted.
While the amount of benefit varies, the following chart provides estimates of benefits based on various circumstances.
$1,244 Monthly/$14,928 Annually
$1,936 Monthly/$23,232 Annually
$2,295 Monthly/$27,540 Annually
Two Veterans Married
$3,071 Monthly/$36,852 Annually
Again, this is a TAX FREE benefit that can make a tangible difference in the level of care your loved one receives. I’ve personally seen the difference these funds can make. I am a firm believer that all who served should have our deepest, heartfelt gratitude, and exemplary care every single day of their lives. Aid and Attendance paves the way for our veterans to live their lives in Assisted Living facilities that are committed to excellence and the highest standard of care like The Larry D. McCall Veterans Residential Care Quarters!
For those who are interested in pursuing this benefit the form can be found at https://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/vba-21-2680-are.pdf.