June 12, 2023

Growing aging veteran population prompts support for expanding access to assisted living

McKnights Senior Living

The number of veterans aged 85 or more years who are receiving care from the federal government is expected to grow 535% over the next 20 years, making access to assisted living and other long-term care options a growing area of support.

During Wednesday’s US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing on veterans’ access to long-term care, several witnesses addressed the rapidly aging veteran population — approximately half of the 9 million veterans enrolled in US Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare programs are aged 65 or more, and over the next 10 years, the number of veterans aged more than 75 years is expected to approach 3 million.

The VA predicted that approximately 80% of veterans will develop the need for long-term care, Christopher Saslo, assistant under secretary for health for patient care services and chief nursing officer for the Veterans Health Administration, testified before the committee. 

In their submitted written testimony and in opening remarks, National Association of State Veterans Homes President Whitney Bell and Immanuel Lutheran Communities Chief Operating Officer Carla Wilton shared their support for SB 495, the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act.

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