Geriatrics and Extended Care
As you age, we offer a range of medical and support services to help you stay as healthy, active and independent as possible. We also offer help to family members and caregivers who may support you.
Services and programs offered
Adult Day Health Care is a community facility-based program Veterans can go to during the day for social activities, peer support, companionship, and recreation.
The program is for Veterans who need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or fixing meals. This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or their caregiver is experiencing burden. Adult Day Health Care, also known as Vet's Club, can be used in combination with other Home and Community Based Services.
Health services such as care from nurses, therapists, social workers, and others may also be available. Adult Day Health Care can provide respite care for a family caregiver and can also help Veterans and their caregiver gain skills to manage the Veteran's care at home.
In the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, these services are provided at eight community day centers located throughout the Denver Metro and Pueblo areas.
A Community Living Center is a VA Nursing Home. There are two Community Living Centers in Colorado: in Grand Junction and Pueblo.
There are activities for Veterans of all ages and family-friendly places for visiting. Veterans are invited to decorate their rooms, and pets may be allowed to visit. Veterans may stay for a short time or for the rest of their lives.
The mission of a Community Living Center is to restore each Veteran to their highest level of self-identified well-being. It also prevents Veterans’ declines in medical and mental health status, and to obtain comfort at the end of their lives.
Grand Junction Community Living Center - 970-242-0731
Pueblo Community Living Center - 719-295-7260
VA contracts with 23 community nursing homes to care for Veterans across the state of Colorado.
The VA Community Nursing Home program authorizes and monitors VA paid nursing home care. The nursing home provider and care team will be the Veteran’s primary care team while they are at the nursing home.
Veterans may reestablish care with their VA provider when/if they discharge from the nursing home. In the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, there is a VA social worker and registered nurse assigned to each VA-contracted nursing home. The social work and registered nurse team provide onsite visits and clinically review Veterans’ care. The VA team also can provide assistance to their nursing home care team with specialty care, appointments, and discharge resources.
The specific nursing homes that are open and/or accepting new Veterans changes on a routine basis. An email is sent from the Community Nursing Home team, especially during the covid-19 pandemic, about which facilities are open or accepting new residents.
State Veterans Homes, which also are known as community living centers, are facilities that provide nursing home and domiciliary care to Veterans, their spouses, and gold star parents. Residents are either 70% service connected or greater, have Medicaid, or can pay privately.
VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System is affiliated with five State Veterans Homes in Colorado - Aurora, Walsenburg, Homelake, Rifle, and Florence.
Referrals are managed directly through the facility.
Home Based Primary Care is health care services provided to Veterans in their home. A VA physician supervises the health care team who provides the services. Home Based Primary Care is for Veterans who have complex health care needs for whom routine clinical-based care is not effective.
The program is for Veterans who need team based in-home support for ongoing diseases and illnesses that affect their health and daily activities. Veterans usually have difficulty making and keeping clinic visits because of the severity of their illness and are often homebound, but that is not required.
This program is also for Veterans who are isolated or if their caregiver is experiencing burden. Home Based Primary Care can be used in combination with other Home and Community Based Services.
The Tele Geriatrics program offers consultative and co-management of geriatric issues including dementia, polypharmacy, functional limitations, and falls. Veterans can receive evaluations of cognitive concerns, medication review, advance care planning, and connection to VA and community-based resources. The Veteran or their family will be seen by a social worker, geriatrician, pharmacist and gero-psychologist (if indicated) for either a one-time evaluation or ongoing co-management of geriatric or cognitive concerns as needed. Visits are conducted at a VA clinic or VA Video Connect to home.
The Tele Palliative program offers consultative and co-management for Veterans with serious illnesses (heart failure, chronic pulmonary disease, cancer, dementia). Veterans are assisted with goals of care discussions, symptom management, and discussions of community-based resources, including hospice. The veteran/family will be seen by a social worker, palliative care provider and psychologist (if indicated) for either a one-time evaluation or ongoing co-management of palliative care needs. Visits are conducted at a VA clinic or VA Video Connect to home.
Dr. Larry Bourg, MD
Dr. Bourg is a geriatrician in Aurora, Colorado. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine-Geriatrics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Bourg is the Division Chief for Geriatrics.
Dr. Carrie Horney, MD
Dr. Horney is a geriatric medicine specialist in Aurora, Colorado. She received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed her residency at the Duke University Hospital Program, Internal Medicine. She has also completed a Fellowship with the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Geriatric Medicine. Horney is an American Geriatrics Society member and is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She specializes in home based primary care and is on the Aging Surgical Wellness Team.
Dr. Sarah Beck, MD
Dr. Beck is a geriatric medicine specialist in Aurora, Colorado. She received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. Her completed her residency with the University of Colorado with a special focus on primary care. She went on to complete her Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine with University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has been in practice at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA since completing Fellowship in 2014. She is an assistant professor of medicine-geriatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine . (Anschutz Medical Campus). Beck is the clinic director for the GeriPACT (geriatrics Patient Aligned Care Team) and the VA-site director for the Geriatric Fellowship.
Dr. Karen Shea, MD
Dr. Shea graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2004. She works in Denver and four other locations and specializes in geriatrician and internal medicine. Shea is affiliated with Denver VA Medical Center and Children's Hospital Colorado. She speaks both English and Spanish.
Dr. Lauren Abbate, MD
Dr. Abbate is trained as an emergency medicine physician and is geriatric medicine specialist in Aurora, Colorado. She is also an affiliated faculty member at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.