The High Cost of Dementia Care: Applying for Veteran’s Disability Benefits: Part 1 of (Many?)

Melting Roses, Acrylic on canvas

The High Cost of Dementia Care:  The Process of Applying for Veteran’s Disability Benefits Part 1 of (Many?)

For “memory care” in our area the price tag is about $4,500.00 per month.

So, I am having to start thinking about how I’m going to be able to pay for the care my husband will be needing.

As I am finishing up this post, he walked out the door and I went to get him. He said he was planning to visit people. Good thing he was good about getting in the car. He isn’t always. It helped that our daughter ran down the street after him and I think I unnerved him with a big flirty smile “Hey, wanna ride?” Side note: a smile wins!

Being a Vietnam veteran, my husband began applying for disability after he began meeting with the veterans at our local VFW several years ago. It was before he was diagnosed with dementia.

So, he applied for it but because he was already mentally unable, he did not follow through with the complicated process.  I didn’t know what he was up to with all of it, he was busy busy with many things.

He was still driving.  He’d drive himself to the courthouse and ask to talk to the judges.  He was a retired lawyer, so he was used to being able to do such things.  You know, he even got himself appointed to the town council.  (I had to help him get out of that gracefully). If you didn’t know him well or didn’t spend too much time with him you’d perhaps think he was ok at that time.

After I finally took over the management of our family’s finances, I gathered up all his messy papers he had crammed in a cabinet and because they looked too important to toss I put them in a file.

I pulled it all out last week when I was looking for something else.  It was an application for disability.

We resubmitted the old application paperwork even though it was on an old form. The very kind man at our local VFW helping me said that he thought they might want to have it on the newer form but thought he’d give it a try.

While I was in there in my hour long meeting with the man, a line of veterans had been forming outside the door. One of them wished me “good luck” which I kinda think means it’s not going to be easy.

I was given a greater understanding of some of the magnitude of the Vietnam war after researching the disability application process. I found a very very … very long lists of our ships that were in Vietnam. And my husband was on one of them.

It is both humbling and surreal that I am following this process through that he had begun.

I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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