What is Senior Housing for Veterans?
One of the many advantages that come with having served your country is the availability of special senior living options for ex-military persons.
When it comes to veterans senior housing, some veterans choose to live in civilian communities but, there are communities that target veterans exclusively.
There are three types of senior living communities for veterans:
- Veterans Affairs (VA) senior living communities
- Military-only retirement communities
- Senior living communities that are in close proximity to bases, which is the reason they are popular with the military.
We are going to explore these senior housing options for veterans in a bigger detail.
VA Senior Housing Options for Veterans
Community Nursing Homes are communities where veterans can live and receive skilled nursing care 24/7. The VA makes contracts with nursing homes all across the country in order to care for the veterans. Some other services that may be included are occupational and physical therapy, short-term rehab, access to social services and dementia care.
The “VA will pay for Community Nursing Home care if you meet eligibility criteria involving your service connected status, level of disability, and income.”
Community Living Centers (VA Nursing Home) are community centers which provide home care the veterans of all ages. These communities have a more home-like setting which makes their residents feel more comfortable. Residents can redecorate their homes by choice and can bring their pets with them.
Their mission “is to restore each Veteran to his or her highest level of well-being. It is also to prevent declines in health and to provide comfort at the end of life.”
Resident eligibility is clinical need and setting availability based. The VA pays for the care only if you meet their criteria regarding your service status, level of disability as well as income. You must be enrolled in the VA health system and be medically and psychiatrically stable.
State Veterans Homes provide nursing homes and adult day care for veterans which have difficulties on their own primarily due to their age, health status, or any other disability which makes them incapable of working and caring for themselves. These facilities are operated and owned by state governments. The Veterans Affairs office makes yearly surveys in order to ensure that they meet their standards.
Resident eligibility is clinical need and setting availability based. Every State can establish their own eligibility and admission criteria for their communities. State Veterans Homes can be found in all 50 states including Puerto Rico.
The costs in these communities vary by state and country and are generally lower than the other non-VA funded nursing homes.
Medical Foster Homes are private communities where veterans and non-veterans can receive 24/7 care whilst living in a small private home. The VA can approve and conduct inspections of these homes but it doesn’t pay for your stay there. Medical Foster Homes prices may vary from $1,500 and $3,000 a month which is based on your income and the level of care required.
Non-VA Federal Retirement Homes
The Armed Forces Retirement Home(s) (AFRH) is an independent federal agency which is run as a Continuing Care Retirement Community located in Washington D.C and Gulfport, MS. AFRHs collaborate with every branch in the military. Even though they are being run as a corporation, AFRH is subject to the control and authority of the Secretary of Defense.
In order to live at AFRH, there are some eligibility requirements that must first be met. For example, you must be able to live independently when you’re admitted. However, if, after your admission, you need an increased health care, assisted living and long-term care are both available at both campuses.
Some of the extras include three daily meals, 24/7 fitness facilities, full-service bar, pharmacy and much more.
Senior Living Communities for Veterans
If you choose to live out your senior years in the company of other veterans like you, you should consider a military retirement community. Military communities have a lot of similarities with the other senior living communities with the exception that they are either retired military-exclusive or a mixture of both civilian and military. Some levels of Federal employees (GS) may also qualify for some of these communities.
Examples of Qualified Veteran Branches
- U.S. Army
- U.S. Air Force
- U.S. Navy
- U.S. Marine Corps
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Public Health
- Foreign Service
What is Different in Senior Living for Veterans?
One of the biggest difference at these communities are the shared experiences of the residents in these communities whether it’s the combat veteran reminiscence of one veteran with another or the former Navy wife that recalls their travels and life in the base. This kind of fellowship can only be found in the military service.
Some other differences may include the close proximity of a community to a military base with its hospitals, commissary, golfing courses, PX, and similar.
Senior Living Communities for Veterans
While this is not a complete list of senior living communities for Veterans, it is a starting good starting point for your research.