The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, also known as the “VA,” offers veterans some great benefits, especially related to their health care as they age.
Many individuals want to remain independent for as long as possible with the goal of living at home perpetually. According to the AARP, “data shows that 77 percent of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term — a number that has been consistent for more than a decade”.
As a veteran, who wishes to age at home, you may have access to some benefits for home health care. Read on to learn how veterans can get home health care and access other programs for themselves and their caregivers!
Does the VA Cover Home Health Care?
Yes! The VA does cover home health care for the men and women who have served their country.
For those veterans wanting to remain at home but require a caregiver or ongoing long-term support, VA health care will provide in-home health care for anyone who qualifies.
There is a program called the “Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care (H/HHA) program” that helps veterans remain independent for as long as possible while they continue to live in their own homes. The VA offers these community-based services managed under a registered nurse’s supervision. Certified home health aides and professional “homemakers” come into the home and support veterans with activities of daily living, personal care, companionship, and respite care for family members who are considered family caregivers.
The Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care program could be combined with other VA home health programs and community-based services, but availability can be limited.
What Services Does the VA Offer the Elderly?
Home health services are based on each veteran’s needs. There are several services the VA offers veterans. One of the offerings is geriatric and long-term care for elderly veterans with complex needs, especially if they need 24/7 support with daily living.
The VA Long-term care services include:
- 24/7 nursing and specialized care services.
- Physical therapy
- Help with daily tasks (like bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and taking medicine)
- Comfort care and pain management
- Support for caregivers who may need a break so they can work, travel, or run errands, also known as respite care.
Many veterans can access these services in various settings, including assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day centers, and veterans’ own homes. Some of these settings are run by VA, and others are run by the state or organizations that the VA approves into the VA Community Care Network (CCN).
Some Nurse Next Door franchises have joined the VA Community Care Network so that veterans can receive home care from our expert caregivers who go above and beyond to ensure Nurse Next Door. Currently, Nurse Next Door supports veterans in Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth) and California (Elk Grove) and continues to build relationships with local VA programs in other regions.
Care settings could include:
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facility
- Private homes where a caregiver supports a small group of individuals
- Adult day health centers
- Veterans’ own homes
How Do I Access These Services?
To qualify for in-home health care through the VA, a veteran must:
- Be signed up with VA health care, and
- The VA must conclude that you need a specific benefit to help with your ongoing treatment and personal care, and
- The service is available near you.
Besides those requirements, the VA may also consider other factors.
To find out more about VA coverage, we recommend contacting a VA social worker or calling the VA toll-free hotline at 1-877-222-8387. In addition, if you’re not currently in the VA healthcare program, we recommend signing up immediately so you can apply for VA benefits as soon as possible. Apply now.
Nurse Next Door can also help point you in the right direction regarding in-home care for veterans.
Give us a call today to find out how we can help 1-877-588-8609.
How Much Does Home Health Care Cost for Veterans?
The VA can cover some home health care services under the standard health benefits if you’re already enrolled in VA health care. However, you may still need to pay a copay for some non-covered services.
For alternative services that VA health care benefits do not cover, you may have to pay through your private insurance, Medicaid (State), or Medicare (Federal).
Costs can vary from individual to individual, depending on what services they need. Also, costs can vary on the complexity of the individual’s condition, whether they need full-time or part-time in-home care, and whether or not they need home health nurses or home health aides.
Read “How Much Does Senior Home Care Cost?” for a breakdown of monthly costs and types of home care.
What Veterans Are Not Eligible for VA Health Care?
The VA has a “priority group” system where they decipher who needs home care on a priority basis. Some veterans considered a “low priority” might not be eligible for certain VA benefits.
Several factors will assign a veteran to a priority group. The VA determines a veteran’s priority on the following factors:
- Military service history, and
- Disability rating, and
- Income level, and
- If you qualify for Medicaid, and
- Other benefits you may be receiving (like VA pension benefits).
According to the VA, veterans with service-connected disabilities are considered the highest priority. Veterans with the lowest priority are those who earn a higher income and do not have any service-connected disabilities qualifying them for disability compensation (monthly payments). For more information on priority groups, visit the VA Priority Group page.
FAQ: How Do I Get Approved for the VA Caregiver Program?
The VA Caregiver’s program is designed to support family caregivers who care for eligible veterans. The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) offers financial assistance to primary caregivers of veterans who need home health assistance.
To get approved for the VA Caregiver program known as PCAFC, a family caregiver must be at least 18 years old, and
- You must be either a spouse, son, daughter, parent, stepfamily member, or extended family member of the Veteran, or
- You must live full-time with the Veteran or are willing to live full-time with the Veteran as a family caregiver.
Veterans must also qualify for this program by ensuring they meet all of the following criteria:
- The Veteran has a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or higher, and
- The Veteran was discharged from military service or had a date of medical discharge, and
- The Veteran needs at least six months of continuous, in-person personal care services.
For more information on the VA Caregiver programs, visit the VA website.
FAQ: Does the VA Make Home Visits?
The VA can make home visits if the veteran is enrolled in the VA Home-Based Primary Care program. Typically, veterans admitted into this program have complex medical needs and find traveling to a VA facility challenging.
For more information on the Home Based Primary Care program, visit the VA website.
FAQ: Does VA Help With House Cleaning?
The VA offers various benefits and services to eligible veterans, but unfortunately, house cleaning is not one of them. However, the VA Homemaker and Home Care Services program provides eligible veterans with personal care and household support to help them live independently.
The program aims to improve the quality of life for veterans by helping them maintain their independence and dignity in their daily lives. The program offers services like bathing, dressing, meal preparation, transportation, and even light housekeeping. Veterans must have a VA-recognized service-connected disability or be deemed eligible based on their income and other criteria.
Need Assistance for Home Care?
The VA provides various benefits to eligible veterans, including home health care under certain circumstances. The VA home health care program offers medical services and support for veterans with acute or chronic medical conditions. They must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for this service. However, for veterans who may not be eligible for VA home health care services, Nurse Next Door offers a wide range of home care services, including skilled nursing care, personal care, assistance with daily living, and companionship.
With a focus on delivering compassionate and personalized care, Nurse Next Door is committed to helping seniors and veterans live their best lives. If you or a loved one needs home care services, consider reaching out to Nurse Next Door for a free Caring Consult to explore your options.
In addition to the VA home health care program, the VA offers online resources, including the Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community, to assist veterans in making informed decisions about their care needs. This tool helps seniors and their families evaluate the various options available for home health care and determine if it’s the right choice for their unique situation.
If you are a veteran or a family member seeking guidance on the best course of action for home care, Nurse Next Door can provide expert advice and personalized care plans. With our full range of home care services, including medical and non-medical care, we can help you or your loved one maintain their independence and quality of life in the comfort of their own home.
If you’re a veteran or have a loved one who is a veteran in need of home healthcare services, consider reaching out to Nurse Next Door.
Our expert Care Team and caregivers can provide personalized care and support veterans to age in place with dignity and independence. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.
Contact us today to learn more at 1-877-588-8609.