Thank You For Your Service

Happy Sunday. I am sore. I overdid. I not only did my usual Saturday routine but I went to the staff party for the elementary teachers and danced for about two hours. Maybe three? Anyway, while I lived to tell the tale, I know I exerted myself. (These are trained professionals. Do not try this at home ?.)

The party was at the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), which got me to thinking about our veterans. No matter what you may have thought of the VietNam conflict, the guys and gals who were in that war did their duty and deserve respect. They are all also of an age to be experiencing vision problems, including AMD. What does the Veteran’s Administration have for the visually impaired?

To start on a general note, the United States Veterans’ Administration (VA) offers a program called Aid and Assistance for veterans and their spouses who are over 65. The veteran must be eligible for a pension although I am not sure what that means exactly.

The program is to help pay part of the cost of having someone come in and help with activities of daily living. ADLs are things like eating, dressing and bathing.

Daddy served in World War II and was eligible for this benefit. Since we were trying to keep him in his home as long as possible, I had gotten him a caregiver to come in morning and evening. I also had him enrolled in ‘Daddy Daycare’ and transportation.

It was a real bear to get the approval – took about 14 months! – and we had to prepay everything and submit the bills. However, when all was said and done, we ended up with between $30,000 and $40,000 being reimbursed by the government. That money literally saved the house from having a lien put on it.

That is the general help available to everyone who qualifies. There are also all sorts of specialized services for blind and visually impaired vets.

According to The VA Office of Research and Development, the VA became involved with blindness and visual impairment in 1944. I think I mentioned before how the government realized it had an obligation to the war blind. Since that time the United States has started the VA’s Office of Blind Rehabilitation Services, which operates 13, Blindness Rehabilitation Centers for the ‘blind’ and also the Visual Impairment Center to Optimize Remaining Sight. That one is for veterans who are partially sighted.

I have had direct experience with the Aid and Assistance program but I have not had any experience with the vision programs the VA offers. Just mentioning them for anyone who might qualify and be interested in hassling with all of the nonsense that comes with dealing with the government ! ? Contact your local VA for assistance in learning more.


For those of you in the UK, you can contact Blind Veterans UK at 12-14 Harcourt Street, London, United Kingdom, @blindveteransuk, phone +44 20 7723 5021.

Next: Should On You!

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