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August 9, 2018

When Aging Veterans Feel Alone as They Struggle with Daily Care

Roger woke up in the middle of the night and realized just how alone he actually was. He had been widowed for more than three years and though he was surrounded by great friends and family, nothing awakened him to that stark reality of being alone as those middle of the night trips to the bathroom. As a veteran, he never really contemplated hiring a home health care aide because he had close family who were able to help.

Unfortunately for Roger, his physical capabilities were diminishing, and quickly.

He didn’t know just how much longer he would be able to manage things on his own. This night he was struggling just to get out of bed. His lower back and his hip were so stiff he was concerned he might slip, fall and hit the ground, and be seriously injured as a result.

He thought about calling his adult daughter, but she had a career, children to raise, and other responsibilities; the last thing he wanted was to be a burden. However, as he thought more about home health care, he figured that was not going to happen because whatever money he brought in through Social Security and his pension was covering property taxes, utilities, food, prescription medications, and a few gifts for his grandchildren.

Roger managed to make it to the bathroom without serious injury (that night), but he knew the clock was ticking. That wasn’t always going to be the case.

He got on the phone with a friend of his from his Navy days and while they reminisced, the topic of his current struggles arose. He found his friend was also dealing with some of these challenges and, in a similar financial situation, had still managed to rely on home care for a few hours a day.

“How is that possible?” Roger asked him. His answer was simple, “The Aid and Attendance Benefit.”

The Aid and Attendance pension is available through the VA for those considered ‘wartime veterans.’ That basically means veterans who served at least one day of their active duty service during a time in which the nation was officially engaged in combat. That basically covers World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.

For veterans who served during the first three combat periods, their minimum time of service has to be 90 days, otherwise it is two years.

Roger also learned that a doctor needs to recommend these home health care services and his income and assets cannot exceed a specific threshold. Upon deeper inspection, he was confident he would be approved for Aid and Attendance support.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Health Care Services in St. Charles IL, please contact the caring staff at Big Hearts Home Care today! 

Matthew Calcagno

Matthew is a graduate of Robert Morris College and is a U.S. Navy veteran.Matthew founded Big Hearts Home Care after over a decade at HP. Spending time volunteering at his grandparent’s senior center inspired him to make a bigger difference in the quality of care seniors receive.His grandfather whom turned 100 in 2015 is still a major inspiration to him in seeing that service is provided with a family focused touch.

It is his passion and commitment to providing quality service that has awarded Big Hearts Home Care as Provider of Choice and Employer of Choice in the Chicagoland area. He believes that being an independently owned and operated company allows him the flexibility to manage the business in a way that better serves the clients.


"Helping people is what I was meant to do; it inspires and motivates me," Calcagno said. "I also get to help veterans - assisting them in the VA pension process and providing care for several in the area. This is what I love to do."

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