talk to your parents about power of attorneyIt’s never an easy conversation. You don’t want to think about the possibility your parents could be left helpless, and they often don’t want to think about it either. But avoiding the possibility doesn’t do any good when an accident or sudden illness could strike at any time, leaving them incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. It’s a painful thought to consider, but by taking the time now to think about your options and discuss what your parents would want if the worst were to happen, you can save everyone a significant amount of pain and agony later on down the road.

Since bringing up the topic with your parents can be easier said than done, we have some tips to help you get started.

Make It About Life

It’s easy to think of these conversations as being about death, but if you switch it around, it can be easier for everyone to manage. Instead of asking your parents how they want to die, ask them under what conditions they would no longer want to live. Make the conversation about respecting life, rather than focusing on death.

Make It Personal

It can be hard for people to think about these things in general terms, which is why using an example can be so powerful. If you know someone who recently had to make tough decisions for their parents, either personally or from a news story, use that as an example of something that could happen to your parents. Talking about a specific example can help clarify things for both you and your parents, so take advantage of any real-life examples of which you’ve been made aware.

Timing Is Everything

There are some conversations that are never easy to get through, but sometimes the simple matter of timing it right can make all the difference. In the section above, we mentioned the importance of using real-world examples, so if you and your parents have recently heard about someone you know, or someone in the news who went through a situation that required a living will and a power of attorney, that could be a good time to say, “By the way, what would you want us to do if you were in that situation?” Or “Who’s your power of attorney?”

If your parents are going through a life transition, such as retiring and/or downsizing, that could also be a good time to bring it up because it’s probably already on their minds.

Get It in Writing

The good news is that having the discussion is the hardest part, but you’re not done yet. If you don’t get it in writing, then if something does happen to leave them incapacitated, you’ll still have a legal nightmare on your hands. Even if everyone is involved in the conversation, without putting it down in writing, you’re relying on memory and everyone’s memories of the conversation are bound to be a little different. The only way you can be sure you’re abiding by your parents’ wishes is to get them in writing.

Don’t forget that assisted living should also be a part of the conversation. Reach out now if you have any questions about how we help our clients live their best lives in their golden years. We’re here to put your mind at ease.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


caregiverBeing a caregiver for a family member or loved one is one of the most rewarding jobs, but it’s also one of the toughest. It involves long hours, little or no pay, and it can be very emotionally draining. At the same time, people who aren’t or have never been caregivers often fail to understand just how tough it can be. If they’re not there “in the trenches” with you, they’re not seeing the day-to-day struggle and so they often assume that things aren’t that bad.

If you’re new to the role of caregiver, we have some tips on how you can, not just survive being a caregiver, but make the most of this time for both you and the one for whom you’re caring.

  • Get a Good Diagnosis

Understanding your loved one’s diagnosis is key to preparing both them and yourself for the next steps of their disease. Depending on the condition, your loved one’s general practitioner might be able to provide a preliminary diagnosis, but it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion from a specialist and/or a geriatrician. Find someone who knows everything there is to know about your loved one’s specific condition because they’ll be best equipped to prepare you for what’s coming.

Once you get a good diagnosis, do as much research on the disease as you can. Talk with other people who have been through the same thing so you know what to expect and how to take care of your loved one through all the stages to come.

  • Get Friends and Family Involved

As stated above, people who aren’t or have never been caregivers often underestimate everything that’s involved because they haven’t seen it for themselves. Maintaining open lines of communication with close friends and family members is key to keeping them in the loop and helping them to understand everything that’s involved in caring for your loved one.

Recruiting help from others is also a great way to take some of the weight of caregiving off your shoulders. Tell them when you need help and what you need so they can lend a hand and you don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself. You don’t have to be alone in this, so never be afraid to reach out, even if it’s just for a conversation so you can vent. This brings us to our next tip:

  • Take Care of Yourself

Taking time for yourself can feel selfish when you’re a caregiver because it’s easy to feel like the loved one your caring for needs care more than you do. But if you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you’ve heard a flight attendant tell you that if they lose pressure in the cabin and they release the oxygen masks, that you have to put on your own mask before helping anyone else put on theirs. You can’t help anyone else breathe if you can’t breathe, and that remains true in other aspects of your life, including caregiving.

Part of giving yourself the time and space to take care of yourself when you’re a caregiver includes understanding what resources are available to you. At Stillwater Senior Living, not only do we help our residents thrive in their golden years, but we also provide resources for caregivers like you to help you manage the challenges of being a caregiver. You can start with our other blog posts or reach out to us directly if you have specific questions. We’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 


Sundown SyndromeSundown syndrome, also called “sundowning”, is characterized by increased restlessness and/or agitation beginning in the late afternoon or evening and often continuing throughout night. It can affect all kinds of people, and even animals, but it is especially prevalent in older people with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

What Causes Sundown Syndrome?

No one is entirely sure what causes sundown syndrome, but experts believe that the degeneration of brain cells associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s might disrupt the production and/or reception of hormones in our body telling us when we should be awake and when we should sleep. Other possible causes include fatigue, hunger and/or thirst, pain, depression, or even boredom.

Symptoms of Sundown Syndrome

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you might want to keep a lookout for symptoms of sundown syndrome later in the day, especially as the sun starts to set and make the transition from day into night. Symptoms include increased agitation, pacing, and even yelling.

While it can be difficult to bear the brunt of what feels like personal attacks from your loved one, it’s important to understand the reasons behind why they might be acting that way. In many cases, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s tend to lash out when they are especially confused. Realizing you don’t remember where you are or what’s going on is a terrifying sensation, and it’s possible that your loved one might lash out verbally, or even physically, when feeling confused.

How to Cope with Sundown Syndrome

As difficult as it can be, especially when family members are involved, it’s important not to take it personally when your loved one with dementia lashes out at you. Remember that it’s less likely to be about you and more likely to be about something else they find confusing or upsetting and you just happened to be a convenient target for their agitation.

Remain calm and try to get to the root of what’s causing their confusion. Try to reassure them that everything is OK and to distract them from whatever it is that might be upsetting them. Keeping their favorite snack handy can be a great way to distract them, and if hunger is a trigger of their sundown syndrome, then you could be killing two birds with one stone by feeding them.

Other tips for coping with sundown syndrome include removing other triggers of anxiety and agitation. You’ll get a feel for what these triggers are for your loved one as their disease progresses, but some common ways to avoid or reduce the symptoms of sundown syndrome include reducing noise and/or clutter, and/or reducing the number of people in the room. While it might sound like fun to bring the whole family for a visit, the reality can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t always recognize the people surrounding them, so working with other members of the family to make sure you all get a chance to visit with your loved one at different times can often prove most beneficial to everyone involved.

While caring for aging loved ones can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why our goal at Stillwater Senior Living is to provide your loved one with the best care possible so you can go about your life without having to worry about them, which means your visits can be spent on more quality time with your loved one. Reach out now if you have any other questions about how we can help your loved one age in place.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


Alzheimer’s and dementiaMany people talk about Alzheimer’s and dementia interchangeably, so it should come as no surprise that there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to the differences between the two. They both involve a decline in mental faculties, including memory, communication, and the ability to perform daily tasks. That said, Alzheimer’s and dementia are not interchangeable, so we’re going to go over the differences between them.

Syndrome vs Disease

Dementia is a broad term that is used to describe a wide range of diseases and symptoms, and it can be caused by a variety of conditions – Alzheimer’s just happens to be the most common one.

Alzheimer’s is short for Alzheimer’s Disease, and while it is a form of dementia, dementia itself is not a disease – it’s a syndrome. While patients need a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, there is no diagnosis of dementia. Dementia is defined as a group of symptoms that affect the person’s mental faculties, but there is no definitive diagnosis of dementia.

Age

Although dementia and Alzheimer’s are both associated with old age, young and middle-aged people have been known to show symptoms of both dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s also important to remember that neither one is considered a normal part of aging.

Mixed Dementia

People can have more than one type of dementia at one time. This is known as mixed dementia, and is usually caused by the person having multiple conditions that contribute to dementia. Unlike Alzheimer’s, mixed dementia can only be diagnosed by autopsy.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

Alzheimer’s and dementia have some symptoms in common, which is the main reason people tend to get them confused. They both involve impaired mental faculties, particularly when it comes to memory and communication, and they can both lead to behavioral changes, often fueled by confusion and frustration.

But Alzheimer’s has some symptoms that dementia does not, mostly pertaining to mood swings and behavioral changes. However, in the most advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, patients can lose the ability to walk, speak, and even swallow as the parts of their brain that control those motions decay, which does not happen with dementia.

Causes of Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia

One of the biggest differences between Alzheimer’s and dementia is their causes. While Alzheimer’s is largely genetic, dementia can be caused by a combination of genetics and/or an infection, such as HIV, metabolic disorders/hypoglycemia/tumors, depression and/or chronic drug use, and vascular disease and/or stroke.

Treatment

Because dementia and Alzheimer’s have different causes, the treatments for each depend on what’s causing the problem. There is some overlap in the way they’re both treated, but there are also some key differences.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, although there are drugs to treat the symptoms, namely antipsychotics, drugs to help with the memory loss, sleep, and depression and mood swings. Alternative treatments include fish oil or coconut oil, both of which have been shown to boost overall cognitive function.

Some forms of dementia can be cured, depending on the cause. If the cause is genetic, as with Alzheimer’s, then there isn’t much hope (yet). If, on the other hand, the dementia is caused by something else, then treating the root cause often does result in improved symptoms of dementia. Tumors, hypoglycemia, drug use, and metabolic disorders are some of the causes of dementia that respond best to treatment.

If you have any other questions about Alzheimer’s or dementia, we’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


Valentine’s Day in Assisted LivingIt’s that time of year again. Love is in the air, and we see absolutely no reason for residents in assisted living to be left out. If you’re planning on spending the day with your loved one in assisted living this year, we have some ideas regarding how you can make the day special for them.

  • Decorate

The first thing you need to do is set the mood. That could mean pink and white streamers, hearts on the walls, pink and white balloons, and/or faux stained glass. Get creative, and don’t forget to dim the lights in the evening. Nothing sets the mood like the right lighting.

  • Movie Night

Put in their favorite romantic movie and watch it with them. There are plenty of classic romantic comedies that have withstood the test of time, but there are also modern rom coms they might like just as well. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s something you can enjoy together. Few things provide opportunities to bond like watching a movie together.

  • Crafts

Making Valentine’s Day cards is not just a school activity for kids. It’s a great way for people to express how they feel at any age, so consider doing some Valentine’s Day crafts with your loved one in assisted living this year, and remember that it doesn’t have to be just cards. You can get festive with food as well, including Valentine’s Day fruit kabobs, sweetheart cookie bouquets, and heart-shaped toast.

  • Valentine’s Day Bingo

Who doesn’t love bingo? Make it Valentine’s Day themed by using Hershey’s Kisses to mark the squares as they play or give them red and pink markers to color in their squares. You can also make the bingo squares themselves Valentine’s Day themed by labeling them with the titles of romantic comedies and/or romance songs instead of numbers.

  • Cook for Them

Nothing says “I love you” like cooking a meal for someone. Bring everything you need to make their favorite dish, and for bonus points you can turn it into a shared experience by having them help you prepare the meal. That way it becomes a bonding experience you can share together, while also making your loved one feel useful and included instead of like an invalid who relies on other people to wait on them.

Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, make sure you ask your loved one’s assisted living community first to see what activities they have planned. Go over the schedule with your loved one and see what grabs their interest and what doesn’t. Their enthusiasm for certain activities might change over the course of the week, or even the day, depending on their situation, but you’re always better off getting their input before making any plans for them.

If you’re wondering what we’ll be doing for Valentine’s Day this year, you can always reach out and ask us.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


Cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020?A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is one of the scariest scenarios imaginable, not just because there are few things more frightening than losing our mental faculties, but also because there is currently no cure for the disease. But researchers have been hard at work for decades trying to find a cure, and recent discoveries could bring us a cure sooner than you might think.

Our Genes

The first factor that determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s in the first place is your genes. Most people know that if they have a relative with Alzheimer’s, they’re significantly more likely to develop the disease themselves, so we know genes play a large role in determining who comes down with Alzheimer’s and when.

On the one hand, we have the presenillin 1 gene, and we know that people with a mutation in that gene are significantly more likely to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s, meaning they start to show early symptoms in their mid to late forties and have full-blown Alzheimer’s in their fifties.

On the other hand, we have the APOE gene, which is linked to regular, late-onset Alzheimer’s and has three different forms that are most commonly seen. Roughly three in four people have APOE3, about one in five people have APOE4, and only about one in ten have APOE2.

We already knew that people with an APOE4 gene were 3x to 4x more likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people who only have the APOE3 gene. On the other hand, if you have on APOE2 gene, you’re slightly less likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people with only APOE3 genes. But a mutation of the APOE4 gene has recently been discovered and it could change everything.

Harvard researchers have been studying a very large family in New Zealand with the presenillin 1 genetic mutation that predisposes them to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Many of them have, in fact, developed early-onset Alzheimer’s, but one woman didn’t show symptoms of Alzheimer’s until she was in her 70s. Although she had the presenillin 1 genetic mutation, she also had an unusual mutation in her APOE gene, which has been named APOE3Christchurch (APOE3ch) after the New Zealand city in which the mutation was discovered. Furthermore, this woman had two versions of this same mutation, meaning she inherited it from both her mother and her father, and researchers think it could be the key to her resistance to Alzheimer’s.

Our Proteins

In addition to our genes, another factor in developing Alzheimer’s has to do with a protein in the brain, called tau, which is responsible for destroying brain cells. Researchers think that tau builds up in the brain after amyloid protein forms plaque in the brain, but this woman in New Zealand has a relatively small amount of tau in her brain, despite the fact that her brain was full of abnormal amyloid plaques (even more so than most people with Alzheimer’s).

Researchers suspect that this woman’s APOE3ch mutation could be the key to the relatively small amounts of tau built up in her brain. This research is still in the preliminary stages, but so far, they have been able to create a special protein in the lab that mimics the effects of the APOE3ch mutation and reduce the uptake of tau in the brain.

We probably won’t see a definitive cure for Alzheimer’s in 2020, since researchers have to conduct experiments to make sure they can reproduce the results before they can put anything on the market, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family. We are also excited to open our Memory Care Neighborhood in the Spring of 2020.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


relocate your aging parentsMoving is a stressful process even for the young and able bodied. No one likes to pick up their whole lives and move from a well-known home to a strange place, but those feelings of fear and discomfort tend to increase as we age, and can be compounded by confusion when suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Although declining mental faculties are probably the reason you need to relocate your aging parents into assisted living, it can also make the move itself much more challenging for you and your parents. Here are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly.

  • Communication

The key to successfully overcoming any challenge that involves working with other people is communication. This doesn’t mean you won’t disagree about what has to happen or how certain things need to be done, but by keeping the lines of communication open, you can avoid surprises and a certain amount of conflict. Even if your parents don’t like the idea of moving, it’s important to keep them involved in the process so they can maintain as much control as possible.

  • Decide on a Place

Keeping Step 1 in mind, it’s important for you and your parents to agree on a place together. Given all the factors that need to be considered, including cost, location, and level of care, it might not be possible for everyone to agree on what the best place for your parents is, but again, it’s important to get their input so you can reach as much of a consensus as possible.

  • Create a Plan

Once you’ve decided on a place and you have a move-in date, you need to plan out everything that needs to get done between now and that move-in date. When are you going to start packing? What are you packing and what are you putting in storage/giving away? If your parents have accumulated a lot of possessions over the years, you might want to give yourself extra time to go through it all and decide what’s worth keeping and what should be tossed. Set a packing date and stick to the plan. Even if your parents are resistant at first, laying out a plan and attacking the moving process one step at a time will make moving day much easier on both you and your parents.

  • Get Everyone Involved

The responsibility of taking care of aging parents often ends up falling on one or two children, even when there are several siblings in the family. In order to make sure you aren’t the only person responsible for moving your parents, get as many family members involved as possible. Not only will this help lighten the load, it’s also a great way to remind your parents how much everyone cares about them. Most people are afraid of getting put in assisted living and being forgotten by their friends and family, so getting everyone involved is one way to assure your parents that’s not going to happen.

  • Help Them Settle In

Once you’ve helped your parents unpack and arrange everything to their liking in their new home, be sure to visit them regularly, but not too often. Again, you want to let them know they won’t be forgotten, but you don’t want to smother them or become overbearing.

If you have any other questions about the move-in process, we’re happy to help.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


Should Not Visit Someone in Assisted Living When You’re SickCold and flu season is officially here in the Midwest, which means many of us are, not only shivering, but also sniffling, sneezing, and maybe even a little feverish. As important as it is to regularly visit loved ones in assisted living (especially during the cold, dark months of winter), you aren’t doing them any favors by visiting them if you’re sick, so we have some very good reasons you should stay away from the assisted living community if you’re sick, and what you can do instead.

Compromised Immune Systems

As we age, our immune systems weaken and it becomes harder for us to fight off disease, including the common cold and flu. While we don’t doubt that your loved one is happy to see you no matter how you look or feel, they’ll appreciate your visit less if they come down with the same bug a few days later.

Not only does a compromised immune system mean that our aging loved ones are more likely to get sick, it also means that their illnesses tend to be much more serious because their bodies are less able to fight off the disease. Something we might be able to bounce back from after a few days could easily send your loved one to the hospital, so when we recommend staying away from assisted living communities when you’re sick, it’s not a trivial matter.

What to Do Instead

1. Use Technology

Just because you can’t come visit, doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with your loved one. You can buy them a tablet and install Facetime, Zoom, or Google Hangout so you can chat with them face-to-face.

If screens intimidate your loved one, use technology with which they’re comfortable. Pick up the phone and call them. Spend as much time chatting with them over the phone as you can. It can’t make up for not seeing your face or giving you a hug, but you might be surprised at the power of hearing the voice of someone you love and spending the time to catch up. It can do wonders to help them feel connected and help you stay in the loop about what’s going on with them and how they’re feeling.

2. Send a Card

If all else fails, send a card. It’s all about that personal touch, and the next best thing to getting a phone call from a loved one is getting mail. Just a quick, personal note to let them know what’s new with you and that you’re thinking of them can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to lifting the spirits of a loved one.

3. Rest Up

Finally, take care of yourself and rest up so you can visit your loved one again as soon as possible. Make sure you’re no longer contagious before you come for another visit, and when you do visit, be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water.

If you have any other questions about when and how to visit your loved one is assisted living, or if you want to know more about what we offer at Stillwater Senior Living, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.


Long-Term CareNovember is long-term care awareness month, in which we, and other organizations around the country, try to raise awareness of the need for long-term care and long-term care insurance. Most people will need long-term care at some point in their lives, but they either don’t know about long-term care insurance, or they don’t think they’ll need it. They assume their health insurance will cover the costs of long-term care, and while it might cover some of the costs, it won’t even begin to cover all of them. That leaves many people unable to pay for the long-term care they need, and unaware of how much financial trouble they’ll be in until it’s too late.

An Aging Population

Until 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day, which means the need for long-term care and long-term care insurance are rising dramatically every day. Unfortunately, the number of people buying long-term care insurance is not going up at the same rate, even when people are aware of the need for it. Experts estimate that 7 out of 10 people will need long-term care at some point in their life, yet most of those people don’t have long-term care insurance.

The Costs of Long-Term Care

The costs of long-term care vary based on a variety of factors, including your geographic location and the level of care you require. To give you an idea of what you might need, the median cost for assisted living in 2019 is just over $4,000 per month.

According to a study conducted in 2018, almost 1/3 of respondents surveyed said that long-term care expenses were a top financial concern for them, and more than half (57%) said they needed long-term care insurance, yet only 15% of them had long-term care insurance.

Caregivers

An estimated 80% of long-term care is provided by unpaid caregivers who spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care. Most of the time, that means one of your children or grandchildren is taking care of you and sacrificing their career and/or personal life in order to do so.

It’s also less than ideal for you because your friends and family members are not professional caregivers, which means they’re more likely to make a mistake that could have serious consequences. By making sure you’re covered by long-term care insurance, you can hire a professional to give you the care you need and leave your friends and family members to spend more quality time with you when they visit, instead of worrying about a to-do list.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid do cover some of the costs of long-term care, but not every long-term care provider accepts Medicare or Medicaid. Do your research ahead of time to figure out which long-term care providers you’d prefer to use if you end up needing it, and what forms of insurance they accept. Even if they do accept Medicare or Medicaid, chances are those programs will only cover part of your costs, which means you’ll still need long-term care insurance to cover the rest.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

 


benefits for veteransThe Department of Veterans’ Affairs does a lot to take care of its veterans, both during and after their time in active duty, but those benefits don’t automatically appear. Most of them have to be applied for, but sadly, many veterans don’t even know all the options that are available to them. So, if you or a loved one is a veteran, make sure you know about these important benefits.

Affordable Healthcare

Healthcare is expensive, and that’s especially true if you’ve been wounded in the line of duty. You or your loved one might be eligible for healthcare that is either free or low cost through a VA hospital or medical facility.

This also extends to mental healthcare. It’s common for wartime veterans to suffer from PTSD and/or to require professional counseling, which can also be expensive. Fortunately, the VA provides both counseling and PTSD support to its veterans.

Disability Compensation

If you or a loved one was wounded in the line of duty in a way that left you disabled and unable to earn a living, you could be eligible for disability compensation through the VA.

VA Pension

The VA Pension is a program that provides income to veterans who have no or limited income and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Is aged 65 or older
  • Is permanently and totally disabled
  • Is a patient in a nursing home
  • Is receiving Social Security disability benefits

Long-Term Care Costs

If you struggle to pay for long-term care for a loved one who’s a veteran, the Aid and Attendance Program offers help with long-term care costs, including the costs associated with living in an assisted living community, a nursing home, or having a caregiver come to your house to care for you. The program also covers long-term care costs for the surviving spouses of veterans, so if the veteran in your family has passed on, but their spouse needs help paying for long-term care, they could be eligible for funding from the Aid and Attendance Program.

Life Insurance

The veteran in your life might have a hard time making sure you and the rest of their loved ones are financially stable after they’re gone because most insurance companies won’t sell them life insurance, especially if they were injured in the line of duty. The Servicemembers’ and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance Program offers life insurance to veterans with competitive premiums.

Free Tax Preparation

Taxes are complicated for most of us, but they can be especially complicated for veterans. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance offices located on military bases offer free help for veterans filing their taxes. They have experience dealing with the complex tax issues unique to veterans, so not only is it free, it’s also a great way to get an expert on your side who knows the ins and outs of your particular situation.

Death Benefits

If you want to mark your loved one’s service to their country after their death, you can request an American flag to be draped over their casket and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, both of which will be paid for by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. They can also provide a free headstone or grave marker for your loved one.

 

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites, and we are pet friendly. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.