The VA (Veteran’s Administration) as long been criticized for its bureaucracy and failures to support the veterans it was designed to help most. In many cases, the failures within the VA system involve outdated systems, understaffed agencies, and poorly funded or managed organizations.
Another example of this failure is taking place in the state of Maine. Elderly veterans who have been receiving some level of home care support, funded by the VA, are at risk of no longer receiving those services. Nightingale In-Home Care is a small agency in the town of Cushing, Maine.
Most of its clients are veterans, but the agency is now struggling to pay its own employees and may no longer be able to provide vital services to its primary clientele because the VA has simply stopped paying for those services.
This has, unfortunately, affected more than just this small agency; it has caused other facilities across the state to shut down.
As reported by NBC News Center Maine in its blog, In-home care is not being paid for by the VA, so some Maine veterans may be losing their care, written by Jack Mundry:
“Eldercare facilities across the state have been closing for the last few years.
While [Army veteran Milton] Goldsmith understands what is happening, by this time next week he may not have the help he and his wife need.
Van Buskirk says she has been on the phone for hours a day talking to people with the Department of Veterans Affairs from Texas to Connecticut and of course here in Maine. No answers or solutions, she tells us.
“I don’t want to lose my employees. I don’t want to lose my clients. We have a good business. We have a good working team. Everybody loves everybody. It goes very smooth,” she said.”
While the VA claims the issue is rooted in its payment processing center in Texas, that doesn’t help the agencies providing these services to elderly veterans or the veterans themselves.
If agencies like this continue to close down or cease providing services to elderly and disabled veterans, it’s the veterans who will suffer the most. The men and women who served this country deserve better, and while the VA does acknowledge this simple fact, it seems to be a repeating a continual pattern of deficiencies within the Veteran’s Administration that hurts the people it claims to care about the most.
It’s unclear if Nightingale or other agencies providing services to veterans will receive reimbursements from the VA in time to continue operating and offering these vital services to the aging men and women who served this country with honor and dignity. One can hope.
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