ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Bonnie Laiderman will never forget the feeling of helplessness she had when it came to her own mother. Her mother was the surviving spouse of a veteran of wartime which qualified her for help from a pension with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bonnie, nor her mother knew about it, “my mom was eligible, and we had the papers, and we were ready to go and the doctor called and said ‘Bonnie, your mom is terminal, take her back to St Louis.’ I did and she died 11 days later.”
Bonnie took her experience and started Veterans Home Care to help veterans and their surviving spouses who may also be unaware of this benefit, facilitate what they need to get access to the pension. Since 2003, the organization has helped more than 20,000 veterans and their spouses get assistance for home-based living. Bonnie says that to qualify, “you need a medical condition that’s serious enough to keep you 60 percent housebound. You need to have served during wartime, it does not mean you had to go to battle it just meant in the years of wartime, and then the third is money.” Veterans can only qualify if they have less than $138,000 in liquid assets.
Bonnie knows firsthand, through home visits, how much they need and deserve after sacrificing so much for our country. She’s walked into homes where floors had holes, the ceiling was leaking, there were bugs or termites and so much more. She says, “after I left each house, I said thank you to God because I felt so good about what I was doing.”
Veterans Home Care not only connects individuals to the pension assistance they deserve but also offers the latest technology through Alexa. Many of our veterans live independently, or even alone, and Alexa is their lifeline should something happen and they need help. They install, set up, and customize the smart companion to provide security around the clock. The Vet Assist program is now in 48 states and expanding its services to include a call from Alexa to check in on our veterans and their spouses. She says, “we are going to be doing calling. It’s terribly sad that the elderly people are alone, and days can go by, and they never talk to anybody.”
For Bonnie, the reward is knowing veterans and their spouses are not forgotten and can live a life of dignity.
If you would like to learn more about Veterans Home Care, click here.