Geriatrics and Extended Care
Community Living Centers (VA Nursing Homes)
What is a Community Living Center?
A Community Living Center is a VA Nursing Home. There are over 100 Community Living Centers across the country.
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.
Am I eligible for a Community Living Center?
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 by visiting the Paying for Long Term Care section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.
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 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.
How do I decide if it is right for me?
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.
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.
If nursing home care seems right for you, your VA social worker can help you locate one and assist with making arrangements.