VA LONG-TERM CARE OPTIONS FOR VETERANS
Planning for the future is not always easy. Where do you start when thinking about long-term care options? As a veteran enrolled in VA care, you have the advantage of a structured VA support system that other people don’t necessarily have. VA has services to help veterans of any age remain in their homes and provides veterans with care at VA medical centers or in the community. Veterans served, and no VA is there to serve them by providing long-term care options.
Think about a Korean War veteran who has Parkinson’s disease that has progressed. He and his wife find out that VA can provide health-care services for him right in their home. For instance, VA might help this veterans get a ramp to more easily access his home and an aide to help him find his comfort level using a wheel chair when he needs it. The aide, backed by a diverse health care team and supervised by a VA physician, also provides support to his wife.
Another support mechanism involves telehealth care. If the VA doctor determines the need first, VA can arrange for equipment ot be placed in the veteran’s home to help track vital signs. How is the blood pressure today? Blood sugar level? The veteran can relay these measurements and more to a care coordinator by phone or video conference.
A number of VA services exist to help veterans of any age remain in their homes, including:
· Adult Day Health Care
· Home Based Primary Care
· Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care
· Hospice and Palliative Care
· Respite Care
· Skilled Home Health Care
· Telehealth Care
If a veteran receiving care determines that he or she wants to move to a different living arrangement, VA can provide support in making these decisions and finding the setting that best works for the veterans. VA has several options for veterans.
Community living centers are VA operated nursing home, domiciliary or adult day care. Unlike the care facilities of the past, you’ll find these centers resemble “home” as much as possible. Veterans may stay for a short time or, in rare instances, for the rest of their life. The goal is to restore the veteran to his or her highest level of well-being, and to prevent declines in health - as well as to provide comfort at the end of life.
State veteran homes are facilities that provide nursing home, domiciliary or adult day care. They are opened, operated and managed by state governments. These homes date back to the post-Civil War era when many states created them to provide shelter to homeless and disabled veterans.
A Community nursing home is a place where veterans can live full time and receive skilled nursing care any time of day or night. VA contracts with community nursing homes to care for veterans. This program is offered in many communities so our loved ones can receive care near their homes and families.
Medical foster homes are private homes where a trained caregiver provides services for a few individuals, both veteran and not. You could receive services from these if inspected and approved by VA.
APPLYING FOR VA HEALTH BENEFITS
The first step is to apply for VA health benefits by submitting a VA Form 10-10EZ. You may apply several ways:
Go to www.va.gov and complete and submit the 10-10EZ form online. You will immediately receive a confirmation message.
Got your nearest VA facility (VAMC, VARO, VA Clinic, VA Outreach Center) and ask for the 10-10 EZ form. Fill it out and submit. You will receive a written confirmation in 5- days.
Call 877-222-VETS (8387) 8 am to 8 pm Mon – Fri, EST. Complete the 10-10EZ over the phone and you will receive the completed form in 3-5 days by mail. Sign the form and mail it to:
Health Eligibility Center, 2957 Clairmont Rd. Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30329-1647
Pick up a 10-10EZ form at any VA location or download online. Complete it and mail to the above address.
APPLYING FOR VA LONG TERM HEALTH CARE
You may have to also submit this form if you are a veteran with no service-connected disability rating, or a rating of zero percent:
VA Form 10-10-EC which you can obtain at the same places as the EZ form.
Source: VFW, Dept. of PA Service Bulletin, Jul-Sep 2015 (excerpted)