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The Veteran Administration has established many programs for the support of Veterans. The needs of the senior Veteran population have changed, so the VA has too. Information on these programs is found in the Home and Community Based Services Department of a regional VA system.
This department contains a lot of services including the 3 programs: Home Maker services, Home Health Aide (HHA) and Respite Care. Below are descriptions for the 3 main services.
Home Maker Services benefit - Home Maker services are used to clean, cook, and perform household chores. Many VA systems do not utilize this service, and it is being downgraded because of budget cuts and the fact that it is not really helping the Veterans' physical condition. Many VA's do not authorize Homemaker Services.
Home Health Aide benefit - This is a non-medical care service. The primary service is to the personal care of the Veteran, by performing a set number of ADL's and not so focused on the household in general. The expectation is that a trained caregiver will assist the Veteran to remain healthier and stable by helping him or her take care of themselves. ADL's include: bathing, dressing, fixing meals and taking medications. This service helps Veterans who are isolated and mostly alone, and it also helps Veterans who have family living with or nearby. There is no requirement that the Veteran be service disabled, a certain age, or of any financial range. It is available for a Veteran who needs assistance to remain independent and remain in their home.
Respite Care - Respite visits can only be authorized for a Veteran if there is a primary caregiver living with the Veteran (i.e. spouse, child, sibling, relative, or friend). They are given 30 visits per year and must be utilized wisely. In some cases, the local VA system needs to authorize each visit. The goal of a Respite visit is to give the primary caregiver a needed break. The Veteran has the choice to receive the 30 respite visits as (30) 4-hour home visits or as (30) 1-day visits to a VA contracted daycare. Only one Respite visit may be used in any 24-hour period, and if they are not used within the years' time they disappear.
A Veteran may receive one or more of these benefits simultaneously, as well as other home-based services. There is no limit to the number of types of services per Veteran; it really depends on the PC physician for the Veteran. The benefit is, in many cases, dependent upon the Veteran asking for the service. The benefit also falls under the "provider of choice" guidelines, which means a Veteran has the right to choose which company they want to perform the home care.
If your loved veteran needs home care, contact Assisting Hearts Home Care, because home is where the heart and care is.