Planning for the future is not always easy. Where do you start when thinking about long-term care options? As a Veteran enrolled in VA care, you have the advantage of a structured VA support system that other people don’t necessarily have. VA has services to help Veterans of any age remain in their homes and provides Veterans with care at VA medical centers or in the community.
Veterans served, and now VA is there to serve them by providing long-term care options.
Think about a Korean War Veteran, your neighbor perhaps, who has Parkinson’s disease that has progressed. He and his wife find out that VA can provide health-care services for him right in their home. For instance, VA might help this Veteran get a ramp to more easily access his home and an aide to help him find his comfort level using a wheelchair when he needs it. The aide, backed by a diverse health care team supervised by a VA physician, also provides support to his wife.
Another support mechanism involves telehealth care. If the VA doctor determines the need first, VA can arrange for equipment to be placed in the Veteran’s home to help track vital signs. How is the blood pressure today? Blood sugar level? The Veteran can relay these measurements and more to a care coordinator by phone or video conference
A number of VA services exist to help Veterans of any age remain in their homes, including:
If a Veteran receiving care determines that he or she wants to move to a different living arrangement, VA can provide support in making these decisions and finding the setting that works best for the Veteran. VA has several options for Veterans.
Community Living Centers are VA-operated nursing homes. Unlike the care facilities in the past, you’ll find these centers resemble “home” as much as possible. Veterans may stay for a short time or, in rare instances, for the rest of their life. The goal is to restore the Veteran to his or her highest level of well-being, and to prevent declines in health – as well as provide comfort at the end of life.
State Veteran Homes are facilities that provide nursing home, domiciliary or adult day care. They are opened, operated and managed by state governments. These homes date back to the post-Civil War era when many states created them to provide shelter to homeless and disabled Veterans.
A Community Nursing Home is a place where Veterans can live full time and receive skilled nursing care any time of day or night. VA contracts with community nursing homes to care for Veterans. This program is offered in many communities so your loved ones can receive care near their homes and families.
Or consider the medical foster home, a private home where a trained caregiver provides services to a few individuals. Some, but not all, are Veterans. You would receive home based primary care services while living in a medical foster home inspected and approved by VA. This option may be appropriate for Veterans who require nursing home care but prefer a home-like setting with fewer people.
As a Veteran, you can count on VA to help you plan for your future and your care. For more information about extended care, visit our website and look at the VA Guide to Long Term Care for answers to your questions, and to explore your financial eligibility for the benefits.