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Veterans Health Administration

New Online Resource is Vets’ Guide to Long Term Care Option

A physician sits with an elderly man and his daughter

 

Helps Veterans and their Families make Important Decisions

Almost half of our nation’s Veterans are over 65.

VA is working to meet their needs by providing information for Veterans and caregivers about long term care services and settings. We are also providing decision aids that help with making plans for long term care now and in the future.

All of this information is available online in the Guide to Long Term Care, which provides descriptions of Home and Community Based Services as well as Nursing Homes and Residential Setting options.

Using home and community based services allows Veterans to remain independent and in their own homes. Some Veterans may be able to receive more than one service at a time. And, some of the services are available in residential care settings.

Home and community based services include:

  • Adult Day Health Care
  • Home Based Primary Care
  • Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care
  • Hospice and Palliative Care
  • The Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Respite Care
  • Skilled Home Health Care
  • Telehealth and Veteran-Directed Care.

Nursing home and residential settings include:

  • Adult Family Homes
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Community Living Centers (used to be called VA Nursing Homes)
  • Community Nursing Homes
  • Medical Foster Homes and State Veterans Homes

The site includes the full spectrum of long term care options.

Five Basic Questions

For each service or setting five basic questions are answered to help inform Veterans and caregivers:

  1. What is it?
  2. Am I eligible for it?
  3. What service can I get?
  4. How do I decide if this service is right for me?
  5. What do other Veterans and caregivers say about it?

The site includes the full spectrum of long term care options and lists services that VA pays for and some that are new and emerging or that VA does not pay for. Eligibility is based on clinical need and service or setting availability.

This Guide also has decision aids — the Shared Decision Making Worksheet (for Veterans) and the Caregiver Self-Assessment. Veterans use the Guide to think about their needs and options as they complete the worksheet and to encourage their family caregiver or other support person to complete the Caregiver Self-Assessment. Then, when Veterans are ready, they can talk with their care providers about their health needs and call or visit a VA social worker to talk about long term care.

Personal Stories Help Explain the Process

Four personal stories, created from Veteran and caregiver experiences, illustrate the shared decision making process, which encourages planning ahead and involving VA health care team members and social workers to make decisions about current and future long term care needs.

Read about Mr. Peterson, a Vietnam Vet who served in the Army; Ms. Williams, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Army Vet; Mr. Garcia, a Marine and Korean War Vet; and Mr. Jenkins, a WWII Navy Vet.

The Guide to Long Term Care also links to many helpful websites for Veterans and caregivers, as well as sites that help locate long term care and caregiver support services.