TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Former NFL players who thrilled fans on the field during their playing days are now going to get help off the field as they grow older. Aging players who suffer from memory loss will soon have access to assisted living facilities built just for them.
“There are 18,000 retired NFL players and certainly a percentage of those players are going to have assisted care and memory care needs,” Steve Benjamin with Validus Assisted Living said.
Validus, a Tampa-based company has teamed with the NFL Alumni Association to build the assisted living facilities all over the country.
Former Buccaneer Jimmie Giles is glad to see the Alumni Association work to help NFL veterans.
“We are all having those problems and I think it is a little more pronounced in former players because of the contact to the head and neck and that is proven now,” Giles said.
A total of 33 pecialized facilities will be built in cities with a high concentration of retired players.
“I think it is a tremendous asset to the former players and myself being included, if that ever happens God forbid, but you just never know”, added Giles.
Validus executives say, the players care will be paid for through the league’s “Plan 88”.
“The Plan 88 reflects that, it is up to 88 thousand dollars a year that will reimbursable for memory care, that’s a big deal to guys that don’t have the same resources that today’s guys do,” Benjamin added.
Validus plans to work with the NFL Alumni Association to build five facilities a year until they have constructed 33 all over the country including one in the Bay area.