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Veterans Health Administration

The Best for Those who gave Their Best

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Geriatrics and Extended Care

VA cares for aging and chronically ill Veterans.

The programs and services that focus on older as well as younger Veterans with chronic illness or significant functional impairment are overseen by the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care.

If there is an elderly chronically ill or functionally impaired Veteran in your family, there are very helpful web sites that describe the services they deserve and guide you to the information you need.

After you review all of the programs, consult with your VA or family doctor to help you decide the best service for you or the Veteran in your family.

Veterans of all ages may need VA’s long-term care programs and services, depending on their condition. The four major service components of the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care are:

  • Nursing Home Care
  • Residential Care
  • Home and Community Based Services
  • Geriatric Care

Nursing Home Care may be provided at VA Community Living Centers, Contract Nursing Homes or State Veterans Homes.

People are most familiar with VA Community Living Centers. They used to be called Nursing Homes. They provide short-stay and long-stay nursing home care to Veterans on or near a VA Medical Center.

Other nursing home programs include State Veterans Homes nursing homes and community nursing home care. Most of the nursing home programs including VA Community Living Centers offer Palliative Care, Hospice Care and Respite Care. Each of these can give Caregivers a period of relief from the demands of providing daily care.

Residential Care includes Community Residential Care and Medical Foster Homes. Community Residential Care provides health care supervision to Veterans who are not able to live independently but are in need of hospital or nursing home care.

Medical Foster Homes are programs that match a Veteran with a community caregiver who takes the Veteran into their home and provides 24-hour supervision and assistance.

Home and Community Based Services are the programs that Veterans can receive in their homes or on an outpatient basis in their community.

All Veterans enrolled in the VA healthcare system are eligible for home and community based care. These include Adult Day Health Care, Home Based Primary Care, Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care, Hospice and Palliative Care, Purchased Skilled Home Care, Respite Care and Veteran Directed Home and Community Based Services.

Geriatric Care programs and services focus on the clinic-based care of community-dwelling elderly Veterans. The programs are Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, Geriatric Evaluation and Management and Geriatric Primary Care.

Dr. James F. Burris is VA’s Chief Consultant for VA’s Geriatrics and Extended Care Policy Office.

He says VA provides these programs and services because, “VA is committed to giving the best to those who gave their best.”