When is it time to sit down and have an honest conversation with an aging veteran family member about homecare? In reality, it’s never too early. However, some people are going to have a difficult time accepting the conversation or even wanting to engage in it.
Tact may be necessary.
Being tactful can be essential to getting the conversation started. For example, if an aging veteran is unwilling to admit he is having difficulty with his own mobility, he is never going to want to discuss the prospect of homecare providers. “Why would I need somebody to help me?” He may begin to say.
“I don’t want to hear any more of this!”
That could end the conversation before it even gets started. In reality, though, this conversation should be broached as soon as possible, even long before that veteran has reached retirement age. The earlier it starts, the easier it’s going to be for somebody to actually listen to what homecare offers. At that time, when they are young, vital, and strong, the idea that they could be dealing with limited mobility, a health issue, or recovery from a medical emergency is not even a thought in their mind.
When people are struggling, when they have already dealt with certain issues, it’s easier to become defensive. When a person is defensive, they don’t want to hear certain things, like homecare support.
What about a veteran who doesn’t have a lot of money?
This veteran may be on a limited pension or disability. Their retirement portfolio might be thin. Every penny they bring in goes out in basic living expenses. They could shoot down the idea of homecare immediately because there’s no possible way they could envision paying for it.
If they are considered a wartime veteran, they could be eligible for the Aid and Attendance Benefit.
This is a pension developed by the VA following World War I that has been expanded through the years to provide coverage for veterans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they were injured or disabled during active combat. The veteran would need to have a specific and documentable requirement for homecare aides or other providers, but starting the conversation early can get them thinking, ‘In the event I have trouble getting around, there is a way to pay for it.’
If a person doesn’t want to consider homecare, though, their decision should be respected. There are other ways to bring up the topic, but that’s a discussion for another time.