Nursing homes are not only one of the costliest long-term care options available in the U.S., they are also commonly the last place people want to be. However, for millions of Americans, there may seem to be no other option aside from these facilities. When aging veterans reach a moment in their lives when Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) become too difficult and they can’t afford help at home and have no families to assist them, and they fall outside the purview of financial assistance through various pensions like Aid and Attendance, it may feel as though there’s no other choice.
However, foster homes is now something to consider. It’s a new program the VA has been developing whereas private homeowners can open their homes to aging and disabled veterans, allowing them somewhere to live at no cost to them. While it doesn’t provide the veteran an opportunity to remain in his or her own house, it’s ideal for those who may be homeless or whose physical and health struggles are too intense to handle alone.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, in the news article, VA turns to foster care for veterans instead of putting them in nursing homes, written by Patricia Kime for Kaiser Health News:
“The $20.7 million-per-year program provides housing and care for more than 1,000 veterans in 42 states and Puerto Rico, serving as an alternative to nursing home care for those who cannot live safely on their own. Veterans pay their caregivers $1,500 to $3,000 a month, depending on location, saving the government about $10,000 a month in nursing home care. It has been difficult to scale up, though, because VA accepts only foster homes that meet strict qualifications.
For the veterans, it’s a chance to live in a home setting with caregivers who treat them like family. For VA, the program provides an option for meeting its legal obligation to care for ailing, aging patients at significantly reduced costs, because the veterans pay room and board directly to their caregivers.”
Many of the veterans who have been taking part in this fostering program find it to be extremely beneficial. It keeps them out of nursing homes and other generic facilities, gives them a sense of home, and they are often surrounded by other people, including possibly other veterans with whom they may strike of conversations or lean on one another for emotional and even physical support.
Foster homes for veterans may also provide them an opportunity to get home care when needed, while remaining in a comfortable and preferable environment.