The VA will establish more than 200 new facilities or programs targeting geriatric or extended care by the end of 2026, making these offerings available at every VA medical center.
Along with 75 home-based primary care teams, the department will add 58 Medical Foster Homes and 70 Veteran-Directed Care Programs to medical centers nationwide, per a Jan. 24 news release. Medical Foster Homes offer care similar to that found in nursing homes but with fewer residents; under Veteran-Directed Care Programs, the VA provides a budget to a veteran or their representative to hire workers to provide personal care services, which may allow them to continue living at home.
Interest in the programs has grown in recent years, especially as the individual or small-group care options limit the opportunities for the spread of COVID-19 and similar diseases.
The move comes as the VA prepares to care for more than 4 million veterans projected to be eligible for nursing home care by 2039 – double the figure eligible in 2019, according to the news release.
The programs “allow veterans to age-in-place, avoid or delay nursing home placement and choose the care environment that aligns most with their care needs, preferences and goals,” Executive Director of VA Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care Dr. Scotte Hartronft said in the release. “Veterans using these programs have experienced fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits, reduced hospital and nursing home days and fewer nursing home readmissions and inpatient complications.”
Visit the VA’s geriatrics and extended care website to learn more about care options, eligibility, and more, including options for respite care.
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