Member feature: Veterans Home Care Founder Bonnie Laiderman honored with Prestigious Award
Two St. Louis television stations, KPLR 11 and KTVI FOX 2, chose Veterans Home Care Founder Bonnie Laiderman as one of four St. Louis honorees from about 200 nominations for its Remarkable Women award.
FOX 2 and KPLR 11, part of Nexstar Media, annually choose “Remarkable Women” as a nationwide initiative to spotlight local women who inspire, lead, and forge the way for other women. Laiderman was featured with a TV interview on March 29 and on a live segment April 1.
Laiderman was honored because she started a unique home care business in 2003 that helps veterans (or surviving spouses of veterans) find home care with no out-of-pocket costs. Since then, Veterans Home Care has helped thousands of veterans and their surviving spouses who qualify, apply for a non-service related disability pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) called Aid and Attendance, which pays for assistance with activities of daily living in their homes.
The income and asset threshold to qualify for the VA Aid and Attendance benefit is about $138,000. However, during Laiderman’s segment, she recalled seeing some of the poorest veterans while making home visits, “some of the ceilings were leaking and the floors had holes from termites…”
Laiderman said to qualify, veterans must have served during wartime, but combat duty, overseas service or a service-related disability is not required.
The news segment also referenced another company, SmartCompanion Care LLC, Laiderman launched in 2020. “The home care agency also offers the latest technology through Alexa. They customize the SmartCompanion to provide security around the clock,” said Fox2 anchor Margie Ellisor. Unlike Alexa devices bought off the shelf that cannot automatically dial 911 without additional programming, the SmartCompanion is the latest in medical alert devices with all the fun and features of Alexa.
“If you fall down, all you have to do is say, ‘Alexa, call for help,’” said Laiderman. It also enables voice-activated phone and video calling.
Laiderman has also been named 2022 Hall of Honor recipient by McKnight Publications. She will receive that award May 12 in Chicago at the McKnight’s Women of Distinction and Forum conference. Their publications include: McKnight’s Long Term Care News, McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Home Care.