Caregiver Frustrated over Lack of Community Services

A resident of Northern Va shares their experience with the high cost of assisted living and lack of community services in the Washington DC area. Learn about the VA Aid and Attendance benefit and Section 8, and the challenges of aging-in-place.

Caregiver Frustrated over Lack of Community Services
Is there a lack of community services?

Barry, in Northern Va. writes in about the lack of community services

Our government is still stuck on stupid!

We’ve recently moved from south Florida to the Washington, DC area.

My mother-in-law had to remain to Florida.

The cost for assisted living in the Washington DC area is significantly higher. We are unable to pitch in financially at a greater rate than we do now!

Her Social Security disqualifys her from Medicaid. But she receives the VA Aid and Attendance benefit.

She is also eligible for Section 8 which rhymes with WAIT!!!

There is a senior subsidized housing community 2 blocks from our home. But if she were to move in there, it’s goodbye to the VA benefit.

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    We’re told she must be totally bedridden to received the VA benefit … in an independent living scenario.

    The programs that do cover people, are so screwed up, ineffective and inefficient. It is sad to realize the Lack of community services and more are being cut everyday in this economy.

    These programs should subsidize… not limit ALF rates for providers.. Who will not participate … since they are forced to accept a ridiculous monthly rate of say $1150 dollars a month… and commit to taking no more than that amount?

    The program would help far more if it were coordinated along … with the other benefits our disabled seniors would qualify for.

    Aside from being the only western nation that does not provide health coverage to all… we basically are telling the elderly to just DIE!


    Lack of affordable housing for seniors causing homelessness


    I do not usually respond to posts that do not leave an email address. Today I am making an exception.

    I hope that you will check back and read this response.

    There is something that you said that just did not ring true in your message and I thought that I would point it out to you.

    No one can be in an independent living situation if they are bedridden. So you have been misinformed.

    I suggest that you contact Deb Burak, at

    To qualify financially for Aid & Attendance… applicants must have on average less than $80K in assets, EXCLUDING home & vehicles.

    Aid and Attendance Program Eligibility Explained

    There is a pension fund that goes along with this.

    As far as free health care for all. Our present Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rate is so low… it is having a negative impact on our present health care system. Teaching hospitals are closing. There is a shortage of resident programs. Causing a shortage of doctors and specialists.

    Doctors are leaving individual practices or opening concierge services. They cannot meet government paper regulations and still make a profit.

    How reimbursement affects our Health Care

    What is happening in countries where there is universal health care, is the same as here. The wealthy receive timely quality care. The middle class that purchase private health insurance , jump the queue. They receive timely care. The poor , or those on the country run health services, have treatment and testing delayed. As those that pay privately or have private health insurance, are moved to the head of the line.

    Please let me know if this was helpful.

    Diane Carbo RN

    How to Access Community Resources for Low Income Seniors

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