The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has a small program that has given some veterans an option other than nursing home care. The program is called the Medical Foster Home program. Instead of a nursing home, these veterans are heading for the homes of licensed caregivers where they will receive home-based primary care visits from a team of healthcare professionals.
The opportunity gives them a chance to enjoy a home environment, feel like a member of the family, and receive individual care. The homes cannot have more than three veterans residing there, so feeling like they are lost in a crowd is not a likely outcome for these veterans.
The Medical Foster Home program spends $20.7 million per year to provide care and housing for over 1,000 veterans in the United States and Puerto Rico. Veterans in the program pay caregivers up to $3,000 per month, saving the VA thousands of dollars each month that would have gone into a more expensive nursing home care.
The program currently has over 700 licensed caregivers to provide supervision and care in their homes. They must meet strict requirements, including providing alternative care when they are not available, living in the home, completing 80 hours of training, and passing a federal background check.
As for veterans, to be considered for the program they must need VA services, qualify for VA healthcare, and have a serious and chronic condition that makes them eligible for nursing home care. Also, they must be able to pay the caregiver’s monthly fees, which are not directly covered by the VA.
According to several interviews done by the Washington Post, the small program has been a big success since its inception. Both veterans and caregivers have had positive things to say about the program. It is promoted in the VA health system and even has bipartisan congressional support.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.