Did you know that here in Florida, our state has more than 700,000 veterans who are 65 years of age or older but only six nursing home facilities dedicated to their care? With the number of elderly veterans in need of care on the rise, there is a growing need for health care at facilities such as this. It's a problem Gov. Rick Scott is trying to address now before it gets out of hand down the road.
If you've been watching the news lately then you might have heard that our state's governor is requesting $7.4 million from the state legislature that will be used to build two new nursing homes for veterans as well as one that was already approved for construction in St. Lucie County. Like traditional nursing homes, the veterans homes Gov. Scott is trying to help get off the ground will be able to address a concern prominent among aging veterans: they aren't sick enough to require a hospital stay but are disabled enough to require health care in an assisted-living situation.
If Gov. Scott is successful, Florida could boast nine care facilities, which might be enough to meet the growing demand for care in the decades to come. The question now is whether the legislature will grant the funds and when the homes will be built down the road.
As you may or may not know, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, also referred to as the VA, may pay for some or all of a veteran's stay in a nursing home facility, provided the veteran meets certain eligibility requirements. In the U.S., there are number of different types of facilities that may be mostly or partially covered by VA funding such as community nursing homes, assisted living facilities, community living centers and state veterans homes.
Because not all expenses at veterans' care facilities are covered by the VA, our Melbourne readers should make sure that they check the extended care section of the VA's website for eligibility then talk to their elder law attorney about if and how this could affect their estate plan later on.
Source: WTXL TV, "Florida Gov. Seeks Money for More Veterans Nursing Homes," The Associated Press, Jan. 26, 2015