To help senior adults avoid potentially costly mistakes, Fair Haven recently hosted a panel seminar covering a variety of topics related to retirement services and payment options. In Part Two of this 2-part series, you’ll find information related to retirement community options, VA benefits, Medicare and Medicaid. Click here if you missed Part 1.


Independent Living and Assisted Living Options

Ardell Fleeson, Lifestyle Specialist at Fair Haven, explains that many people are confused about the difference between assisted living and independent living. Add to that the complication that states in the US define these terms in different ways. But simply put, here are some questions that can you determine whether independent living or assisted living may be right for you:

Are you ready to lose the responsibilities of lawn care and basic home maintenance?

Is it important to have health services nearby?

Are you looking for additional safety or security?

Do you like to stay active and participate in social events with others like you?

If you answered yes to some of these questions, an active independent living community may be a good fit for you. Assisted Living may be more appropriate when more assistance is needed. A comprehensive retirement community like Fair Haven will provide a free assessment for individuals who want to know if independent living is right for them.


VA Aid & Attendance Benefits

Did you know that if you are a veteran or the spouse of a veteran, and in need of routine assistance for your everyday living, you may be eligible for aid & attendance benefits through the VA? If eligible, these benefits would help pay for some of the cost associated with caring for your daily needs.

Lyndsie Curry is an elder law attorney with Shimoda Stewart in Birmingham, helps older adults navigate their options when it comes to elder care planning. Lyndsie explains that though the VA Aid & Attendance benefit will not pay for the entire cost of care for someone who needs it, these benefits can be a piece of the payment puzzle. For example, if you are a married war-time veteran with a spouse, you may be eligible for up to $2100 per month. This amount is in addition to your VA pension benefits. A helpful resource for finding out if you qualify for VA Aid & Attendance benefits is by visiting this page on the official government website at


Elder Law and Planning

Elder law attorneys, like Lyndsie Curry at Shimoda Stewart, are equipped to help families deal with all sorts of issues related to senior care and the law. For example you may wish to appoint a power of attorney in case you become incapacitated, rather than having someone else choose for you. You may wish to put together your will. Lyndsie quipped, “I have yet to find a single person who says that they want their money to go to the state.” An elder law attorney can help with advanced planning to help insure your wishes are carried out in the event you become incapacitated, and in the eventual event of your death.


Medicaid is not Medicare

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for seniors. Medicaid is insurance for people who are impoverished. Medicare may pay for a limited number of rehabilitation in a facility, but it is not an insurance program to cover long-term care. Medicaid may be used by qualified people to pay for long-term care costs.

For information about how to make Fair Haven your or your loved one’s new home, contact our admissions team at 205-956-4150, or send an email to


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