A Community Living Center (VA Nursing Home) used to be called a nursing home.
Unlike many nursing homes in the past, a Community Living Center resembles "home" as much as possible. There are activities for Veterans of all ages. There are family friendly places for visiting. Veterans are invited to decorate their rooms. And, pets are allowed to visit or live in the Community Living Center.
Veterans may stay for a short time or, in rare instances, for the rest of their life. It is a place where Veterans can receive nursing home level of care, which includes help with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed) and skilled nursing and medical care.
The mission of a Community Living Center is to restore each Veteran to his or her highest level of well-being. It is also to prevent declines in health and to provide comfort at the end of life.
Video about Community Living Centers
Watch the video to hear what providers and Veterans have to say about this VA program.
Your eligibility is based on clinical need and setting availability. The VA will provide Community Living Center (VA Nursing Home) care IF you meet certain eligibility criteria involving your service connected status, level of disability, and income.
You must first be enrolled in the VA health system, and be medically and psychiatrically stable.
A copay may be charged for CLC care based on your VA service-connected disability status and financial information. Contact your VA social worker/case manager to complete the Application for Extended Care Benefits (VA Form 10-10EC) to learn the amount of your copay.
Find out more about Paying for Long Term Care.
Community Living Centers provide these services:
- 24-hour skilled nursing care (e.g., help with a wound or IV care)
- Restorative care
- Access to social work services
- Geriatric evaluation and management
Some Community Living Centers also provide these services:
- Mental health recovery care
- Special care for Veterans with dementia or other cognitive deficits
- Respite Care
- Palliative Care and Hospice Care for end of life
Most of the 132 VA Community Living Centers are on or close to the campus of a VA medical center. Not all VA Community Living Centers provide all services, so contact your local VA medical center to find out what services are provided.
Admission into a nursing home is an important decision for you and your family. There are many options available for extended care in the community. When community based services do not meet your needs, then admission to a Community Living Center (VA Nursing Home) may be an appropriate option.
You can use a Shared Decision Making Worksheet to help you figure out what long term care services or settings may best meet your needs now or in the future. Find out about how you can use the Shared Decision Making approach.
There's also a Caregiver Self-Assessment . It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach good long term care decisions.
Your physician or other primary care provider can answer questions about your health care and medical needs. Some important questions to talk about with your social worker and family include:
- How much assistance do I need for my activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed)?
- What are my caregiver's needs?
- How much independence and privacy do I want?
- What sort of social interactions are important to me?
- How much can I afford to pay for care each month?
If nursing home care seems right for you, your VA social worker can help you locate one and assist with making arrangements.
You can also use the Locate Services and Resources page, found on the left navigation menu, to help you locate a VA nursing home.
I need to keep getting IV treatment, but they tell me I don't have to stay in the hospital any more. A nursing home may be a next stop for me while I get the care I need so I can return home when I'm better.
Because of his Alzheimer's, my father isn't safe living alone and couldn't take care of himself anymore. My family visits him regularly and can see that he is getting everything he needs. The decision aids helped with planning care for my father.
Greg, Veteran's son and caregiver