With the increasing life expectancy of adults, older people need non-medical or custodial, long-term care for living safely in their homes. In particular, they require assistance in their daily activities, like meal preparation, eating, using the bathroom, moving around the place, dressing, grooming, and bathing. And unfortunately, Medicare does not cover long-term care. While Medicaid offers some long-term care coverage, it differs from one state to another and is only applicable to impoverished adults. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers some long-term care benefits, but few know about it.
Due to a lack of available options in the senior marketplace, Veterans Home Care (VHC) came up with a program called VetAssist. In the words of the new CEO, David Laiderman, it “connects older adults who served in the military during wartime, or whose late spouses served, with VA benefits to pay for care.” The company was a result of innovation in 2003 and presently, the CEO is entirely focused on continuing innovating older adult care using the latest technology.
The unique set of services offered by the VetAssist Program is what makes it different from other alternatives. First, they help with benefit eligibility assessment and VA claims filing, which is free of cost. Then care begins immediately without waiting for VA funds to arrive. Home care may include help with laundry, meal preparation, medication reminders, dressing, bathing, transportation and more.
VHC’s clients can also opt for the VetAssist. Companion technology, a groundbreaking, voice-activated medical alert system powered by Alexa. Their service is ongoing with medical expense monitoring and home care coordination.
As the CEO says, “The genius of Veterans Home Care is in-home care with no out-of-pocket costs.” As the company developed, a national network of more than 4,000 contracted home care providers formed as well. These consist of national leaders, like Visiting Angels, Synergy, Right At Home, Home Instead, First Light, Elara Caring, Amada, and many other independent agencies. Truth be told, the company never cold-calling older adults. “Each month, we get thousands of referrals from providers, case managers, and social workers and inquiries from our website and social media,” says David Laiderman.
VetAssist has a mobile app for physical therapy, rehab, medical care, adult daycare, and home care providers and social workers using their tablets or phones. Through the app, adult care professionals can easily and quickly refer a senior to Veterans Home Care or check for eligibility. VHC not only serves seniors but also adult care providers who are dependent on their unmatched expertise for their clients and patients.
When David joined Veterans Home Care, he brought his industry expertise in software with him. Tapping some of the expertise of Veterans Home Care professionals, David launched an additional company SmartCompanion Care LLC in 2020 to bring robust software and technological solutions to older and disabled adults. He serves as both CEO of Veterans Home Care LLC and SmartCompanion Care LLC.
The CEO explains, “The SmartCompanion system is a breakthrough hands-free phone and video calling system, a voice-activated medical alert device, and a virtual SmartCompanion powered by Alexa. It reduces isolation keeping older adults engaged and enabling easy access to the internet. Each SmartCompanion system is pre-programmed and customized for each user.”
An identical system was launched and named as VetAssist Companion for specific wartime veterans and their surviving spouses who are eligible for VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit. These people can obtain the Alexa-powered system without any out-of-pocket costs.
Last year, SmartCompanion was ushered by Friendship Village, a St. Louis regional not-for-profit older adult living community that serves over 1,000 seniors. After testing the system on their two individual campuses, the senior living community agreed to integrate SmartCompanion into the communication systems of their facilities to enhance staff efficiency and drive resident involvement.
The residents state that the device provides them with peace of mind. A Friendship Village Chesterfield Resident Bernadette Travers said, “When my husband or I am alone, it gives us a much greater sense of security in case something were to happen. The things Alexa can do are also very nice. We can have her read off the daily activities happening around the Village, and we can also access the dining menu. Alexa’s my new bestie!”
Considering the level at which the program and the companies’ technological endeavors have aided seniors, the future seems to be very bright. In fact, the company plans to expand in two ways. Primarily, they have expanded their market from merely those who are eligible for VA benefits to all disabled and older adults. This will help people on a greater scale. And secondly, they wish to bring technology services and products and IoT (Internet of Things) to older adults.
Honestly, when it comes to the belief of older adults not welcoming technology, David is a disrupter. Surprising to many, most SmartCompanion users are between 70 and 100 years old.
SmartCompanion is essentially designed to handle current caregiver shortages and rising demand from an increasing older population. Laiderman believes, “Adding SmartCompanion LLC to the Veterans Home Care family of companies tremendously extends our footprint in senior care. We can re-imagine home care by adding virtual components to increase affordable care options in a much broader market.”
He further states, “We’re now marketing beyond our narrow niche of veteran families and have set the groundwork for a future move toward telemedicine and therapeutic care. VHC has several new and exciting products on the horizon which will be available to all seniors.”
Description of the Company: Veterans Home Care connects older veterans or their surviving spouses with VA benefits to obtain long-term care. Its sister company, SmartCompanion Care, helps all senior adults, regardless of military service, with the latest technology.
Company Name: Veterans Home Care & Smart Companion Care
Founding Year: VHC-2003, SCC-2020
Office Locations: Both are located at 11975 Westline Industrial Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146
Name of the Featured Leader: David Laiderman, CEO of both VHC and SCC (& Bonnie Laiderman Founder of VHC)
Designation of the Leader: CEO