Although the pension programs available to senior citizens are prominently mentioned on most assisted living company websites as a means of payment, few eligible veterans are using them. This NY Times article quotes a Veterans Affairs spokesman who says less than 5% of the 1.7 million eligible seniors and their dependents are using the benefits. They payout is substantial: $2019 per month for a veteran and spouse, $1732 per month for a veteran, and $1094 per month for a widow. Widespread use of this program would make assisted living affordable to many who currently do not have enough money to pay for their expected stay.
As the Times article mentions, this non-profit organization and assisted living communities are well informed about the pension benefit. They’re both also more eager to assist with the paperwork necessary to receive the pension benefit than is the VA.
On a more dour note……
Psychiatry Online mentions a link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and early dementia. This NY Times article says nursing home routines and design may trigger flashbacks for elderly veterans who were never diagnosed w PTSD.