Our veterans bravely protect our freedom and our way of life. Yet, after this service, veterans may wonder how they can manage to age with dignity in the comfort of their own homes.
Former military members who live far from VA centers often drive miles to get care at those facilities. However, when they need these services in their homes, the distance can seem like an impassable barrier.
Fortunately, there are ways to get home care veteran services even when you live far from any VA center. Here is how to do it and how Wellspring can help.
Would you like to get the home care services you need in your own home? Contact us at WellSpring Home Health to find out how.
Common Challenges of Aging in Place
Aging can bring incredible challenges for many older adults. Physical limitations can make everyday activities difficult or even impossible without assistance. At this time of life, you might need help with personal activities such as bathing, preparing meals, running errands, and getting where you need to go.
In addition, some veterans have disabilities, illnesses, or injuries that require skilled nursing care. If this describes your situation, home care services to help manage daily medical needs may be a must. You may also need disability care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, or other types of therapeutic services to live well at home.
Yet, even with all these challenges, it is very rare that older adults look forward to living in nursing homes. In fact, according to the AARP, 90% of people over 65 would prefer to stay in their own homes as they get older. The good news is that home care services can help you stay where you want to be – in your home.
How to Get Veteran Home Care Services Where You Are
While you might be aware that home care services exist, you might wonder if they are available to you where you are. As a veteran, you likely know that the VA does provide many services for you at their facilities. But what happens if you don’t live near any VA centers? In that case, getting elder care in your home may seem financially out of reach. Fortunately, there is a program that helps veterans get the personal care and nursing care they need while aging in place.
What Is the VA A&A?
The Veterans Administration offers two programs for older veterans without requiring them to live near a VA center. One is the VA Aid and Attendance (A&A) program, and the other is the Housebound program. Both offer an increase in monthly VA pension amounts to help with daily activities and nursing care.
To qualify for the A&A program, you must be a veteran receiving a pension. You may meet the other criteria if you:
- Need help with daily activities, such as dressing, eating, or bathing.
- Have to stay in bed all or most of the time due to illness.
- Live in a nursing home because of mental or physical disabilities.
- Your corrected vision measures at 5/200 or less, or your visual field is 5 degrees or less.
You may be eligible for the VA Housebound program if you are mostly or completely confined to your home due to a permanent disability.
For either program, you must qualify for a VA pension.
How to Apply for VA A&A
As a veteran, you can apply for these programs to receive an increased pension amount that you can use for home care services. You start by filling out VA Form 21-2680, the Examination for Housebound Status or Permanent Need for Regular Aid and Attendance.
Your doctor can help you fill it out by completing the examination and information section for you. Add any extra information to help make your case, such as details about how you now try to manage your daily activities or the type of illnesses, injuries, or disabilities that interfere with your ability to do them. Then, mail it to your pension management center.
Approval is not automatic, of course, and it can take time to get through the process. The pension management center might ask for additional information or evidence, for example. However, once you have been approved, the benefit is well worth the time and effort.
VA Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care
The VA also has a program for veterans who receive VA Standard Medical Benefits. The program is for veterans who have a documented need for help with daily care activities when they cannot perform them due to medical conditions.
How to Apply for the Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care Program
If you need the services provided by the Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care program, talk to your VA case manager. They can help you with the paperwork and self-assessments required. The VA will evaluate your need for personal care services and decide if you qualify. In some cases, you may need to pay a copay for services, but not all veterans do.
Home-Based Primary Care
Another program offered by the government is the Home-Based Primary Care, or HBPC, program. This program is for all enrolled veterans who have the need for complex home services due to chronic, disabling, progressive medical conditions.
Qualifying for HBPC
To qualify for this program, you must be enrolled to receive VA health services. You also must demonstrate a need for complex care. If you meet the criteria for this program, you receive home care services such as at-home doctor visits, medical social work, rehabilitation services, therapy, nutritional services, and medication. You pay the same copay for these services as you would if you received them at a VA facility.
To apply for the Home-Based Primary Care program, you can speak with your VA case manager or social worker. They can help you complete the Application for Extended Care Benefits, VA Form 10-10EC. When your application is approved, you will be notified of what your copay for services will be, if any.
Types of Services Available for Veteran Home Care
Home care services can include two types of care. The first is provided by skilled professionals, such as registered nurses, specialists in medical social work, and a variety of therapists. They can help you with nursing care and therapy to safeguard your health and improve or maintain your physical and mental abilities. They work with your primary care doctor to ensure all the different services are customized to meet your unique needs and work well together.
The second type of service is offered by all our non-skilled home health providers who assist with nonmedical care. This personal care includes assistance with daily activities such as:
- Bathing and grooming
- Preparing and eating meals
- Running errands
- Bowel and/or bladder care
At WellSpring Home Health, we provide these home care services in the Anchorage, Alaska, Wasilla, Washington, and Tacoma areas. Our friendly, helpful staff has the skills, qualifications, and commitment needed to provide a large variety of services for you as a veteran and others seeking to live at home as they age.
Elder care and disability care are our specialties, so we know how to meet your needs for both skilled and non-skilled home care. Our team of providers works together to give you the assistance you need to live your life in the place where you feel most comfortable and at home.
When you rely on Wellspring Home Health for veteran home care services, you can relax and look forward to the time ahead, enjoying the home that means so much to you. You can remain more independent, connect with your community, and live a life that is more satisfying to you.
Are you a veteran seeking home health services to stay in your home? Reach out to Wellspring to find out how we can help you accomplish your mission!