Veterans unable to live independently but not yet ready for any level of intensive nursing home care now have an alternative. Veterans can now spend time visiting the homes of people willing to take them in under a foster care. There are currently 24 currently active foster-home programs in the United States and there are another 48 being created at various VA hospitals.
The problem with moving people into nursing homes is that doing so requires veterans to leave their homes. Many veterans will resist the move and remain in their home, despite the risks. Even regular visits from the VA’s home care nurses don’t eliminate the risks veterans face by staying home after a fall or medical mishap.
While the foster-home program was designed to aid aging veterans, it is beginning to be used to aid returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many returning veterans will require long-term care due to traumatic brain injuries or other battlefield wounds.
Foster care providers for wounded veterans usually earn between $2,000 and $3,000 per month. The VA’s role in this process consists of:
- Supervising and sending home-care nurses to check on the veterans on a regular basis;
- Sending in VA inspectors at any time to ensure the environment is a good one for the veteran and to prevent abuse;
- Paying for the installation of wheelchair ramps where required; and
- Paying for any other home modifications necessary for the veterans’ recovery.
The idea of this type of foster care is catching on. In the beginning of 2000, there were 3,281 licensed providers in Minnesota. In the beginning of 2010, there were 4,852. Following an inventory of adult foster care, AARP is encouraging using foster homes as an alternative to nursing homes.
The idea is a good one, and it is catching on.
Learn more about the VA foster-care program.
Additional housing benefits are available to disabled veterans which may be based on your disability rating. Contact the veterans’ disability rights law firm of Veterans Help Group.