A Unique Concept in Senior Care: Foster Care for Veterans

Veterans have the opportunity to take advantage of a unique Medical Foster Home Program in lieu of moving into a nursing home once they are no longer capable of living alone. The program is available in select communities across the country, but is quickly being adopted in new regions. Visit the Department of Veterans Affairs for a listing of developing medical foster home programs.

Veterans who may not have family willing or able to take them in when they require 24-hour care can move into the home of a volunteer foster family prepared to assist with activities of daily living and participate in the veteran’s care plan for a monthly fee, usually ranging between $1,500 and $4,000, depending on the level of care required.

Through the program, an Interdisciplinary Treatment Team will make a monthly visit to evaluate the patient’s care needs, provide foster family education, conduct patient care, and ensure that the foster family is appropriately trained to handle the veteran’s care as needs may change over time.

The veteran receiving care is actually responsible for paying the medical foster home family, although the total costs (at the high end) are approximately half of the cost of a nursing home. Medical Foster Homes can be subject to state regulations regarding licensure and usually can be licensed to accept up to three residents receiving care (a total of both veterans and non-veterans receiving care).

Medical Foster Home RequirementsVeterans cap

Individuals wishing to apply to become a medical foster home must meet a number of requirements, per Hartford Wellness Examiner Diana Duel. For example, in Pennsylvania, if you wish to become a medical foster home, you must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Own or rent your own home
  • Be fluent in English
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Be CPR and first-aid certified
  • Permit monthly Interdisciplinary Treatment Team visits
  • Accept and participate in the veteran’s treatment plan

Overall, the Medical Foster Care Program is an excellent way for veterans to maximize their benefit dollars while having an active choice about where they’ll receive care. For families who become a medical foster home, it’s much more than exchanging room and board for money. Caregivers get the satisfaction of improving the quality of life of a veteran who has served our country, and often benefit from companionship and recounts of times of active service that may otherwise never be shared.

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