The VA Medical Foster Care Program helps keep veterans out of nursing homes and away from expensive and impersonal home health care. Due to positive response and widespread interest, the VA plans to expand the program to 102 sites across 46 states over the next 12 months.
Since its creation in 2000, the VA Medical Foster Care program has been allowing veterans the option of living with a family or home caregiver in their community.
Currently 424 caregivers in 36 states have opened their homes to veterans. Those caregivers are compensated anywhere between $1200 – $3000. They are also well-trained, and undergo a thorough application process that includes:
- An in-home inspection by a social worker, a dietitian, a registered nurse and a physical therapist.
- Interviews and background checks by VA staff.
- The foster caregiver and anyone else who lives in or moves into the house must be fingerprinted and pass health tests that include a check for tuberculosis. This screening process also includes any help that she hires.
Like a home health aide situation, veterans in medical foster care homes also receive regular visits from hospital staff. This is all covered by typical VA benefits.
“The program is meant to provide veterans with an alternate long-term care option in a safe and home-like environment and just to be able to offer vets the choice to remain living in a community, family home setting if they are faced with the need to move into a nursing home or a more institutionalized setting,” said April Bartlett, the medical foster home coordinator for the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System..
Medical Foster Homes can be distinguished from many other community residential care homes because,
- the home is owned or rented by the caregiver;
- the caregiver lives in the home and provides personal care and supervision; and
- there are never more than three residents receiving care in the home.
Here is a current list of the cities with active Medical Foster Homes. If VA Medical Foster Care is something that you or a Veteran you know might be interested in, click here to locate the closest VA Medical center for more information.
Below are some other great resources for assisted living:
- Medical foster care provides option for New Mexico veterans (stripes.com)
- Adrian woman sets the stage for foster care program in the regional VA system (veteransnewsnow.com)
- Toledo to help ailing veterans (toledoblade.com)