If you are a veteran in need of home health services because of acute illness, permanent disability, or a long-term health condition, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has several programs available to help you.
Provided you served in the active military and were not dishonorably discharged, you may qualify for VA health benefits and services, including home health services. The services you receive depend on your needs.
If you need health care services for a limited period of time, and illness confines you to your home, or you don't live near a VA facility and are unable to travel, you may qualify for VA's Skilled Home Health Care Services program. Community-based home health agencies that contract with VA provide case management, skilled medical services, and help with activities of daily living.
As long as you show medical need for the service and are enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration medical benefits package, you are eligible for skilled home health care. You can receive nursing care, support from a social worker, and home therapies provided by a physical, occupational, or speech therapist.
Depending on your income and service-connected disability status, you may be responsible for paying a copay.
Help with Activities of Daily Living
Rather than living in a nursing home or community residential care program, VA's Homemaker or Home Health Aide Services program helps veterans of any age remain living at home. Different from skilled home care services provided by health care professionals, home health aides provide personal care, such as helping you to bathe and dress.
Although home health aides are not nurses, they are supervised by a registered nurse who provides case management. The goal of the Home Health Aide Services program is to help you take care of yourself and remain as independent as possible despite chronic health problems or disability.
Based on your needs, a home health aide may prepare meals, do light housekeeping, shop for food, accompany you to appointments, and administer medication. The program also offers respite care at home for a veteran's family care giver.
In some cases, a veteran is referred to a care coordinator for Home Telehealth services. Special monitoring equipment that is set up in your home allows a care coordinator assigned to your case to remotely monitor your condition, including vitals such as your temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure. Whenever a reading isn't normal, the care coordinator will talk to your doctor or a nurse and then advise you on any followup care you may need.
The Veterans Transportation Program provides veterans who are elderly, visually impaired, or otherwise disabled with transportation to and from VA health care facilities, as well as to and from authorized non-VA health medical appointments. If you qualify for VA health care benefits, you are eligible to apply for transportation assistance. Availability of transportation varies depending on the resources of the VA-authorized facility in your local area.
Service providers that partner with the VA to provide transportation for veterans include local nonprofit groups, veteran service organizations, and transit services funded by local and state governments, many of which receive federal grants.
To learn more, contact a company like AAA Referral & Home Health with any questions you have about home health care.