As Edith Sperling’s cancer progressed, her daughter, Bonnie Laiderman, became her caregiver. Late in her mother’s illness, Laiderman learned of a Department of Veterans Affairs benefit called Aid and Attendance, which can pay for personal care services.
Edith, the widow of a Korean War veteran, would have qualified. Yet, by the time Laiderman applied for a pension on her mother’s behalf, it was too late. Edith passed before her application was approved.
After her mother’s passing, Laiderman founded Veterans Home Care, one of the largest women-owned companies in the St. Louis Metro Region with about 100 employees and annual revenue of $34 million.
Veterans Home Care has helped more than 13,000 disabled veterans and surviving spouses of veterans across the country obtain VA benefits to pay for home care. Laiderman created a unique business model and partnered with quality home care agencies to deliver home care to clients that qualify.
“I’ve had the pleasure of helping many veterans over the past almost 15 years,” said Laiderman. “Each client is truly unique with an interesting story to tell. I began my business helping WWII and Korean War veterans. Now, we have the pleasure of helping those who served in Vietnam.”
Laiderman was one of the first home health care agents to find that there are billions of dollars set aside for VA benefits. Veterans have earned these funds through their military service, yet often these dollars go unclaimed.
Veterans Home Care’s typical clients start with little to no awareness of the VA’s Aid and Attendance benefit that allows them to pay for assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation, light housekeeping and companionship.
“Many clients are so appreciative, they’re actually crying as I tell them they will get the help they need,” Laiderman said. “More important, they have their dignity, especially knowing they are paying for their own home care through a benefit they earned through military service. They’re able to stay in a home they cherish and age in place,”
Although some other organizations have created similar service models, Veterans Home Care maintains an edge by offering a free, no–interest loan. There is a backlog at the VA and clients typically wait months to have their claim processed. The loan allows clients to begin their home care immediately even before they are entitled and receive funds from the VA. They are able to then repay the loan because the VA Aid and Attendance pension is retroactive from the date that the VA receives the application.
Beyond using an innovative business structure to aid clients, Laiderman also takes care to contract with strong home care agencies and employ success metrics.
“We are a service company so our service is vital and we measure it at every turn. Our client service teams routinely calls clients to make sure they’re satisfied with their home care aide, and ninety-eight percent of those surveyed said they would recommend the VetAssist Program to others,” Laiderman.
Laiderman looks for employees who want to serve veterans in an impactful way. She believes the best candidates are empathetic, reliable, detail-oriented, kind and ethical.
Laiderman knows trust and ethical values are essential to any organization, and she sees Better Business Bureau as a great example building and maintaining trust across business industries.
Having Veterans Home Care recognized with a BBB TORCH Award has affirmed the direction of the business she founded more than a decade ago.
“The TORCH Award makes me proud of what my staff and I have accomplished,” Laiderman said. “This company stated on a basic principle: It’s very important that we treat each client the way I wanted my own mother to be treated when she was sick, vulnerable and needed care,” Laiderman said.
Veterans Home Care,11861 Westline Industrial Dr Ste 750, Saint Louis, MO 63146
President: Bonnie Laiderman
“We assist veterans, who protected our freedom, to stay in their homes and live with dignity.”
BBB prepares profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities as part of its TORCH Awards process. Veterans Home Care is a winner of the BBB St. Louis 2017 TORCH Awards.