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Nursing homes, assisted living, and home health care

As a Veteran, you may be able to get assisted living, residential (live-in), or home health care through VA. Find out how to access these long-term care services.

What kinds of long-term care services does VA offer for sick or disabled Veterans?

Our long-term care services include:

  • 24/7 nursing and medical care
  • Physical therapy
  • Help with daily tasks (like bathing, dressing, making meals, and taking medicine)
  • Comfort care and help with managing pain
  • Support for caregivers who may need skilled help or a break so they can work, travel, or run errands

You can get this care in many different settings—some run by VA and others run by state or community organizations that we inspect and approve.

Care settings may include:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted-living centers
  • Private homes where a caregiver supports a small group of individuals
  • Adult day health centers
  • Veterans’ own homes

You can learn more about the different types of care on this page or review our guide to long-term services and supports.

Learn more about our long-term services and supports

How do I access these services?

You may be able to use one or more of these services if you meet all of these requirements.

All of these must be true:

  • You’re signed up for VA health care, and
  • We conclude that you need a specific service to help with your ongoing treatment and personal care, and
  • The service (or space in the care setting) is available near you

We may also consider other factors, like your service-connected disability status or insurance coverage.

To find out how to access these services, contact your VA social worker. Or, call our toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

If you’re not currently in the VA health care program, you can apply for benefits now.
Apply now

Does VA pay for these services?

We cover some of these services under your standard health benefits if you’re signed up for VA health care. You may still need to pay a copay for some covered services.
Apply for VA health care

Other services aren’t covered under VA health care benefits. For these services, you may be able to pay through Medicaid, Medicare, or your own private insurance.

Learn more about paying for long-term care

Where can I get more information and support?

More details about your care options

You can get nursing home care in 1 of the 3 different nursing home settings listed below. In each, you’d live there full time and have access to nursing and medical care, as well as help with daily tasks 24 hours a day.

You may be able to get VA benefits to help pay for nursing home care. It depends on your income and the level of your service-connected disability (a disability that resulted from your military service).

Learn more about:

Community Living Centers VA nursing centers that are designed to feel like home

Community Nursing Homes Non-VA nursing homes that we contract with in many parts of the country so you can get care near your home and family

State Veterans Homes State-owned and -managed centers that provide full-time care for Veterans and, sometimes, non-Veteran spouses and Gold Star parents

You may be able to get community residential (live-in) care in settings such as those listed below. In each setting, a trained professional will provide care and support with daily tasks 24 hours a day.

These places are not run, staffed, or paid for by VA, but we do inspect and approve each one. And you may be able to use VA benefits to help pay for extra services (like visits from a VA health care provider).

Learn more about:

Medical foster homes Private homes where a few people live together and get care

Adult family homes (or adult foster homes) Private homes with rooms to rent for 6 or fewer people

Assisted living facilities Centers where Veterans can live in a rented room or apartment, and have access to shared living spaces like a dining room

If you’re signed up for VA health care, you can get help managing your disability or health condition while living at home. The services you qualify for will depend on your needs and whether a service is available in your area. If you need to, you may be able to use more than one service at the same time.

Learn more about:

Home-based primary care A VA health care team, led by a VA doctor, who provides services (like nursing care, physical therapy, and help with daily tasks) in your home

Homemaker/home health aide (H/HHA) services A trained caregiver (supervised by a registered nurse) who comes into your home to help you care for yourself

Adult day health care A program you can go to during the day for social activities, companionship, and recreation as well as care and support

Hospice care Skilled caregivers who come into your home to provide comfort care to you and your family. You qualify for hospice care if you have a terminal condition (a condition that can’t be treated), with less than 6 months to live, and you’re no longer seeking treatment other than to ease pain.

Palliative care Skilled caregivers who come into your home to provide comfort care to help ease your pain and control your symptoms so you can do as much as possible in your daily life

If you’re signed up for VA health care, you can get home-based health care as part of your benefits. The services that you qualify for will depend on your needs.

Learn more about:

Skilled home health care Health care providers from a community-based home health agency who come to your house to provide care such as wound care, physical therapy, social work support, and help with daily tasks

Home Telehealth A VA care coordinator who keeps track of your health remotely using special equipment in your home and will check in with you by phone, if needed. If there are any signs of a problem, your care coordinator will work with you and your VA doctor and nurse to figure out what to do next.

You may be able to get a service called respite care as part of your VA health care benefits. This service pays for a person to come into your home—or for you to go to a program outside your home—while your family caregiver takes a break.
Learn more about respite care

Other services for home health care (like adult day health care or skilled health aide services) listed above can also help to support caregivers.

Yes. We offer Geriatric Patient Aligned Care Team (GeriPACT) services in about two-thirds of VA medical centers.

GeriPACT provides expert care to Veterans with challenging health care needs due to conditions such as:

  • More than one complex chronic disease
  • Dementia or cognitive decline
  • Geriatric syndromes (like frailty, falls, incontinence, memory loss, taking many medicines, or being 65 years or older)
  • Caregiver burden (the stress and strain that can come from caring for someone with complex needs)

Note: GeriPACT is not for Veterans with untreated substance abuse. It may also not be the right fit for Veterans who only need a prescription refill for a medicine like Aricept® (used to treat Alzheimer’s disease).

Learn more about geriatric care