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VA Medical Foster Home Program

Looking for long-term care but want to stay in a home setting? The VA's Medical Foster Home (MFH) program might be a good fit for you! It's completely voluntary and lets Veterans live in a regular house with a caregiver who provides the care they need.

Do you live in Monterey or Santa Cruz County and want to help Veterans by becoming a Medical Foster Home caregiver?


Are you a Veteran, or know a Veteran, looking for long-term care in a home setting?

The Medical Foster Home program might be a great fit! Get in touch with Rosanna Erbe, our Medical Foster Home coordinator, to learn more about becoming a caregiver or finding a comfortable MFH for a Veteran.

Think of it as an alternative to a nursing home, but with a more comfortable, home-like feel.

Most people would rather stay at home than move to a nursing home, and the MFH program lets Veterans do just that. VA can even help you find a great MFH that meets high standards for care and safety.

Young caregiver and her contented senior patient gazing out through the window.

Learn more about the MFH Program

What are Medical Foster Homes (MFH)?

VA offers a program called Medical Foster Home (MFH) for Veterans who need help living on their own. It's like a nursing home, but in a private home setting with a caregiver who provides daily care and supervision. The caregiver can help the Veteran carry out activities of daily living, like bathing and getting dressed. VA ensures that the caregiver is well trained to provide VA planned care.

MFH is a voluntary long-term care placement option. Some, but not all, residents are Veterans. VA can help you find a warm and caring MFH that meets high quality care and safety standards. The Veteran and their family are encouraged to tour homes before making a decision.

Medical Foster Homes provide:

  • Private rooms
  • Home-like living
  • Flexibility and choice
  • A supervised setting
  • Choice of homemade meals/snacks
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Personal care
  • Medication management
  • Other care support, as needed

Medical Foster Home eligibility

Here's who might be eligible for MFH:

  • Veterans enrolled in VA health care
  • Veterans with chronic health problems needing ongoing care
  • Veterans who have trouble getting to VA appointments on their own
  • Veterans who participated in the VA's Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) or Spinal Cord Injury Home Care programs

While MFH stays are generally half the cost of a nursing home, Veterans do pay for it themselves each month. There are some exceptions:

  • Some Veterans qualify for a special monthly pension that can help cover the cost.
  • Veterans in the Housing and Urban Development – VA Supported Housing (HUD-VASH) program might be able to use their housing voucher to help cover a portion of the cost.

Criteria for MFH caregivers

To become an MFH caregiver, you'll need to:

  • Fill out an application and interview with the Medical Foster Home program coordinator and other staff as needed: This helps the program get to know you and see if you'd be a good fit.
  • Be 18 or older and financially stable: You need to be able to take care of yourself so you can focus on caring for Veterans.
  • Create a welcoming home environment: Veterans should feel comfortable and relaxed in your home.
  • Be willing to help Veterans with complex needs: VA will train you on how to provide care, but you should be comfortable with hands-on assistance.
  • Be available 24/7: You or another approved caregiver will need to be there for Veterans all the time.

Criteria for Medical Foster Homes

To become a Medical Foster Home (MFH):

  • The home must be owned or rented by the caregiver: You must live in the MFH, and it must be your primary residence.
  • It should feel like a real home, not a hospital: The layout, furniture, and overall vibe should be comfortable and safe for Veterans. There should be enough space for 1 to 3 Veterans to have their own bedrooms.
  • Safety first! A VA team will inspect your home to make sure it's up to code for things like fire safety, cleanliness, and accessibility.
  • Follow the rules: Your home and how you care for Veterans need to meet state and local regulations, like building codes and sanitation standards.
  • Be close to VA care: The home should be within reach of a VA team that provides care in Veterans' homes (HBPC).
  • Expect visits: The VA program coordinator might stop by unannounced to check in on the Veterans and make sure everything is going well.

Connect with our MFH program coordinator

Rosanna Erbe LCSW

Medical Foster Home Coordinator

VA Palo Alto health care