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Bill Would Help Veterans Age in Place, Support Caregivers

AARP backs efforts to expand care options and caregiver resources


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AARP is urging Congress to quickly pass measures to help veterans age in their own homes and communities and to support the family members who care for them.

We wrote to federal lawmakers last week endorsing provisions of the Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act that would advance those goals.

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Leaders of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs introduced the bipartisan bill in May. Among other changes, it would:

  • Expand in-home care for older and disabled veterans
  • Allow some veterans to receive assisted living services under a test program
  • Create an online resource hub for caregivers of veterans
  • Bolster caregiver respite and mental health support

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“After their service to our nation, America’s veterans deserve to live with independence, security and dignity,” wrote Bill Sweeney, AARP senior vice president for government affairs.

He noted that most people 50 and older wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible as they age. Congress should back efforts to “allow veterans to live independently at home and ... support their 6.5 million family caregivers who provide an estimated $14 billion in uncompensated service each year,” Sweeney added.

Parts of the bill are based on legislation AARP has previously endorsed, including the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act and the Caregiver Outreach and Program Enhancement (COPE) Act.

In recent years, AARP has spearheaded numerous efforts to support veterans and their caregivers. Our Veterans Resources Hub helps veterans, active duty and military families find information about VA benefits, caregiving, fraud and more.

We’ve also launched a free digital tool to help veterans and family members navigate health benefits, including help available through the PACT Act for veterans exposed to toxins, as well as a guide to benefits for veterans who want to modify their homes so they can remain independent..

 Read our letter and learn more about AARP benefits and resources for veterans.

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