What Is the VA Medical Foster Home Program?
Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2018
Last Updated: August 28, 2018
For senior veterans who can’t remain in their homes and who don’t want to move to a nursing home, there’s a growing alternative: VA medical foster homes.
Since 1999, an increasing number of VA hospitals around the country have reached out to homeowners in their communities, seeking people who are willing to provide live-in care for vets who need personalized care and a strong sense of community. Read on if you, a parent or senior loved one needs help with care and wants a home setting. The VA Medical Foster Home program might work for you.
The VA Medical Foster Home Program
Veterans who cannot safely manage their activities of daily living and health on their own may qualify for VA Medical Foster Home Program care. In order to participate, veterans must be enrolled in VA Home Based Primary Care, because those physician-managed home care services will continue in the foster home.
It’s important to know that the VA Medical Foster Home Program is only available in areas where local VA hospitals have started a program and foster-home caregivers have been approved.
There are programs at roughly half the VA’s medical centers now and the goal is for each VA hospital to have their own program eventually.
VA Medical Foster Home Operations
Caregivers must have some experience in providing care and they have to be willing to be available 24/7 (with backup caregivers on call as needed). Medical needs are handled by VA Home Based Primary Care workers, but assistance with activities of daily living, meals, shopping and socialization are all handled by the caregiver-homeowner.
Caregivers include couples, families with small children, retirees and widowed seniors. Some caregivers host more than one veteran — each local program has guidelines about how many veterans can receive VA Medical Foster Home care in one home — and they all offer vets a sense of community and family. Don't forget to look into benefits for caregivers of veterans, too.
VA Medical Foster Home Placements
Placements are coordinated through the VA, which also inspects the homes and offers supplemental training for caregivers. In some places, such as Michigan, caregivers must also meet the state’s Adult Foster Home licensing requirements in order to take part in the VA Medical Foster Home program.
Caseworkers and doctors factor in the type of care each veteran needs and what each host family can provide when making placements.
VA Medical Foster Home Services
Veterans are responsible for paying the cost of the VA Medical Foster Home services directly to their caregiver. Typical rates range from $1500-3000 per month, and the exact figure is worked out in advance by the caregiver and veteran.
Long-term care insurance, VA Aid & Attendance Pension benefits and other benefit programs may help cover the cost of the VA Medical Foster Home program.
Contact your local VA medical center to find out if this program is available in your area. If so, VA caseworkers can help you decide if VA Medical Foster Home care is a good alternative for you or someone you love.