Travel, Leisure & Fun for South Valley Adults

Assisted Living Costs & Referral Websites

Quail Corner

Question: I am a veteran and served during a period of war, are there any benefits to help me with assisted living costs?

First, I would like to thank you for your service!

Millions of honorably discharged veterans and their families are not aware of a little-known benefit called Veterans Aide and Attendance. This benefit can help veterans and their spouses pay for in-home care, and assisted living facility or nursing home care. It pays up to $2,169 a month, in addition to the monthly pension benefits. To qualify, you must be 65 or older (or permanently disabled), have served during a period of war, have an honorable discharge, and meet certain financial and medical requirements.

According to VA Resources for Fresno/Madera County website, to medically qualify, one of your spouse/parents would need assistance with basic, everyday living tasks like eating, bathing, or dressing. If you are blind or in a nursing home, assisted living facility or memory care, you could also qualify. Up to five hours a day of in-home care may also be available to you.

To qualify financially, your spouse/parents’ annual income is a factor. Not everyone can qualify if they have too much income or too many assets.

I recommend calling Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, Veterans Services at (559) 713-2880 for questions regarding VA Aide and Attendance. They are located at 3348 W. Mineral King Ave., Visalia 93291.

Question: I wanted to research different senior communities in our area, and after I went to a referral website, I now have a lot of communities calling me. Why did this happen?

Senior community referral companies gather information such as pricing, senior living details and amenities, on their website. They refer people who investigate information on their website to senior living communities. Once you give the referral company your information, they send your contact information to senior communities as a referral. Senior communities will then call you to explain their services, amenities and pricing, and invite you to tour their businesses.

This is a free service for you because you pay nothing for the information that their site provides. Many families find this easier than researching each senior community on their own. It is important to know that the referral site will only give you information about communities they are contracted with. If you should choose to move into one of those senior communities, the senior community you move into will be responsible for paying the referral company for referring you.

I know it might seem overwhelming to get so many communities calling you, but by telling them to email their price list and brochure, it will help you get your research done ahead of time for when you decide to take that next step. Being aware of what is out there in the community is not a bad thing. I always say to "get your ducks in a row" so that there are no surprises later!

If there is a crisis and you need to move quickly, knowing which community can accommodate your price point and your care needs is very important.

Kimberly Jensen has been working with Quail Park as a Senior Resource Advocate for over ten years and has helped hundreds of families find solutions to their senior problems. If you have a question, you can send it to her at or call (559) 737-7443.


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