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Highlights of the Fall 2008 newsletter are:
- From the Executive Director
- Gary Morris Inspirational Concert on November 6 (postponed for health reasons)
- MindAlert Seminar on Early Stage Support
- Fall Caregiver seminars in Waco and Hurst on November 6 and 7
- Ask the Expert
- Special Holiday gift acknowledgement cards
In our ongoing battle against Alzheimer’s disease, education may be our greatest weapon. When we know what to expect, are equipped with reliable caregiving techniques and can prepare for the sequence of challenges that Alzheimer’s imposes, we are in the best position to cope with this devastating disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has long been committed to providing current, innovative and practical education for individuals with the disease, families and professionals. This edition of our chapter newsletter reports on many local educational opportunities that are available over the coming months.
When our chapter began programming for those with early stage Alzheimer’s disease in the early 90’s, we turned to the work of practitioner and author, Robyn Yale. The authority on early stage issues, Ms. Yale created the model for facilitating early stage support groups at a time when few, if any, other professionals had ventured into this area of need. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Yale to Abilene on October 24 to present her groundbreaking work on early stage support groups.
In Waco and in Hurst, our daylong fall conference on November 6 and repeated on November 7 will feature another national speaker, geriatric social worker Nancy Pearce. Ms. Pearce will teach conference attendees how to enhance their communication with persons with dementia. Her approach, incorporating educational research with studies in spiritual and religious traditions, is sure to provide insight for families and professionals.
Our extensive schedule of educational programs spans our chapter’s 40-county service area. Most programs are presented by our knowledgeable staff, while others feature outside experts. Review our offerings closely and take advantage of those best suited to address your needs. Be sure to mark your 2009 calendar for our chapter’s major spring conference - March 26 in Fort Worth.
We encourage you to check this website for additions to our educational offerings and to learn more about our chapter’s services. Someone is always available to speak with you at 1.800.272.3900. Let us know if you need information or support related to Alzheimer’s disease. And please, if it is within your means, consider making a donation to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Association. We rely on charitable contributions to provide our services. Thank you!
This issue's expert is Chester Slaughter, MA, Director, Tarrant County Veteran Services
What type of medical/financial benefits does the Department of Veteran Affairs offer to veterans who are disabled or can no longer take care of themselves?
The Non-Service Connected Pension, the Death or Widow’s Pension, Aid and Attendance and VA Medical Care are all benefits that veterans may be eligible for from the VA. The Non-Service Connected Pension benefit is for low-income, disabled, wartime veterans who served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which was during a period of war, and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. The Death Pension benefit is for surviving spouses of veterans. In order for the surviving spouse to qualify, the veteran must have met the qualifications listed for a Non-Service Connected Pension, and the surviving spouse’s total income can not be above a certain level set by Congress. Aid and Attendance (A&A) is a higher level of pension payment that will be paid if it is determined by the VA, via medical evidence from a doctor, that the veteran or surviving spouse is in need of A&A. The basic criteria for A&A is the inability to feed oneself, to dress and undress without assistance or to take care of one’s own bodily needs. People who are bedridden, need help to adjust special prosthetic or orthopedic devices, or have a physical or mental injury or illness that requires regular assistance to protect them from the hazards or dangers in their daily environment may also be eligible.
What are the family income limits to qualify for the Veterans’ Non-Service Connected Pension?
- Single veteran with no dependents, income no more than $932 month
- Veteran with one dependent income of no more than $1,110 a month
- Single veteran, no dependents needing Aid & Attendance, no more than $1,555 a month
- Veteran with one dependent needing Aid & Attendance, no more than $1,843 a month
What are the family income limits to qualify for the Death or Widow’s Pension?
- Single surviving spouse with no dependents, income no more than $625 a month
- Surviving spouse with one dependent, income of no more than $818 a month
- Single surviving spouse, no dependents needing Aid & Attendance, no more than $999 a month
- Single surviving spouse with one dependent needing Aid & Attendance, no more than $1,192 a month
If my family income is more than that required by the VA, can I still qualify and if so, how?
If all requirements for the pensions are met, the VA will determine eligibility for the Aid & Attendance benefit by adjusting your income using any un-reimbursed medical expenses from the veteran’s or surviving spouse’s total household income. If the remaining income amount falls below the annual income limit for the benefit, the VA will pay the difference between the claimant’s household income and the VA’s family income limit.
Does the VA have a medical foster care program?
Yes, the VA’s Medical Foster Home program (MFH) offers an alternative to veterans who are becoming more dependent due to chronic or terminal illness, have limited family support and prefer a community family setting for their long term care. The program is designed for individuals who can no longer live alone because of physical or mental impairments or disabilities. MFH involves VA staff, the veteran, the veteran's family and caregivers in the community to offer a safe, supervised, family environment for veterans. Contact Cathy Cooley, LMSW, Medical Foster Home Program Coordinator, at 214.857.2674 for additional information.
Does the VA have social workers and if so, how can I contact them?
Social workers at VA North Texas Health Care System help veterans and their families with problems associated with the stress of an illness and assist them meeting their after care needs following a hospitalization. Assistance is provided in making the best possible transition from hospital to home or other community settings. Social workers also provide information about VA and community resources. Some of the services offered by social workers are information, linkage and referral, assistance with nursing home placement, home health services, housing and community living, social assessment, intervention and aftercare services, and care placement options. For more information, contact them at the VA clinic in Ft Worth at 817.882.6012 or at the VA hospital in Dallas at 214.857.0388.
How can I find out if I’m eligible for other VA medical benefits?
You can call the VA’s clinic in Fort Worth or the VA’s hospital in Dallas. The contact information is:
- Fort Worth Outpatient Clinic, 300 W. Rosedale St., Fort Worth, 800.443.9672
- Dallas VA Medical Center, 4500 S. Lancaster Rd., Dallas, 800.849.3597
This holiday season, honor special friends, co-workers or loved ones with a gift in their honor to the Alzheimer’s Association - North Central Texas Chapter. This lovely acknowledgement card, designed just for the holidays, will be sent to those you honor with your contribution. A minimum of $10 per honoree is requested. Please send your gift to the chapter's main office at 101 Summit Ave., Ste. 300, Fort Worth, TX 76102. You may designate your gift for use in any of our regional locations or for use throughout our 40-county service area. Be sure to print the name and address of the honoree(s) clearly and please indicate if your gift is for the holidays. Questions? Call 817.336.4949 or click here. These special acknowledgement cards are not available for on-line donations.
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