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.
Video about Community Nursing Homes
Watch the video to tour a Community Nursing Home and hear what one Veteran has to say: “If I fall here, I’ll have someone immediately at my side. At home, I have to wait – not very long, but I have to wait.”
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/case manager about your eligibility and to figure out a plan for paying for Community Nursing Home care services.
Find out more about Paying for Long Term Care.
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
Moving into a Community Nursing Home is an important decision for you and your family.
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 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 a Community Nursing Home seems right for you, your VA social worker may be able to help you locate options in your community.
You can also use the Locate Services and Resources page, found on the left navigation menu, to help you locate Community Nursing Homes.
My health has steadily been getting worse, but my wife and I only realized we couldn't manage on our own when I got bed sores because she couldn't turn me over. It was time to get more help and having me move into a Community Nursing Home was the right decision for us.
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 at the Community Nursing Home and can see that he is getting everything he needs.
Greg, Veteran's son and caregiver