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 RequirementsIndividuals 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
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