Letter: Assisted living group pushes for industry involvement to prevent 'pension poaching'

Collaboration between senior living operators and the Veterans Administration is necessary to prevent the financial exploitation of elderly veterans, a leading provider group said Wednesday.

Senior living operators must work with VA officials to keep untrustworthy financial advisors away from elderly veterans who need long-term services and supports, according to Richard P. Grimes, president and CEO of the Assisted Living Federation of America.

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging held a hearing Wednesday to discuss the exploitation of seniors who apply for benefits through VA Aid and Attendance. In a statement of record submitted in conjunction with the hearing, Grimes emphasized the need for the industry to work with the VA. The hearing coincided with a Government Accountability Office report detailing a practice called “pension poaching” within the program.

“In part, this can be achieved by creating best practices for senior living communities, reducing access by the unscrupulous to seniors, reducing the complexity of the application and approval process, and eliminating the backlog,” ALFA said in its statement.

Click here to read ALFA’s full recommendations, and here to read the GAO report. Click here for a webcast of the hearing.