February 6, 2020
Vietnam Vet Maintains His Independence with VIC Program
Vincent Thoms is a Vietnam veteran who loves the A-frame home he has in Teller County. A widower who lives alone, Vincent requires the use of oxygen for a heart problem that probably started with exposure to Agent Orange during his service in Vietnam. He tires easily and doesn’t have the stamina to handle normal housework. It was starting to look for Vincent like remaining independent in his beloved home was at risk.
“It’s hard to admit you need help. For veterans, it is awful hard.” Thoms says, as he looks thoughtfully around the interior of his home.
After receiving a flyer from The Independence Center, Vincent learned about a program designed to help veterans remain independent in their own homes as long as possible. The program, called Veteran In Charge, serves eligible veterans who need assistance with bathing, dressing, transferring, yard work, transportation, cooking, medication management, etc. Veteran in Charge is a Veteran Directed – Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS) program that supplements, not replaces, veterans Administration (VA) benefits.
“This program has been key to allowing Vincent to remain right where he wants, in his mountain home as a vital participant within his community,” Ashley Billington, Veteran Coach at the Independence Center, explains. “The best part is Vincent gets to determine how he spends his monthly budget. This is huge because Vincent is the expert on his own needs.”
Veterans of any age with a disability who need assistance to remain independent in their home are encouraged to start with their VA contact for an eligibility assessment. Veterans who are interested in the Veteran In Charge program may contact The Independence Center at (719) 471-8181.