Geriatrics and Extended Care
Community Nursing Homes
What is a Community Nursing Home?
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. The Community Nursing Home program is offered in many communities so Veterans can receive care near their homes and families.
Am I eligible for a Community Nursing Home?
Eligibility for a Community Nursing Home is based on clinical need and setting availability. The VA will only pay for Community Nursing Home care if you meet eligibility criteria involving your service connected status, level of disability, and income.
If you do not meet these requirements, you will need to use your own resources to pay for nursing home care, which may include Medicare benefits and/or applying for Medicaid assistance if you cannot afford to pay.
Talk with a VA social worker about your eligibility and to figure out a plan for paying for Community Nursing Home care services.
Find out more by visiting the Paying for Long Term Care section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.
What services can I get?
Community Nursing Home care always provides:
- 24-hour skilled nursing care (such as wound care or help with IV medication)
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Access to social work services
Some Community Nursing Homes also provide:
- Short term rehab services
- Hospice and palliative care for the end of life
- Special care for dementia
How do I decide if a Community Nursing Home is right for me?
Moving into a Community Nursing Home is an important decision for you and your family.
You can use a Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community to help you figure out what home care services or long term care services may best meet your needs now or in the future.
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 short-term and long-term care decisions.
Ask your social worker for these resources or download copies from the Making Decisions page at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.
If a Community Nursing Home seems right for you, your VA social worker can help you locate options in your community. Find a VA social worker in your area.