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Learn About VA Home Health Care Benefits
Veterans home care benefits are available to most vets with long-term health conditions or disabilities who receive the VHA Standard Medical Benefits package. The VA’s home health care for veterans programs can help former service members stay in their homes longer before having to move to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
Eligibility for any of the VA home health care programs listed below is based on the clinical need for services and the availability of that type of service in the veteran’s community. In most cases, a veteran’s need for VA home care assistance can be combined with one or more programs to provide a more complete standard of care. There may be a small copay for receiving these services. Review the following sections to learn more about home health care for veterans and how to apply for you or your loved one to receive these benefits.
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Find Out About Home-Based Primary Care
Veterans home care generally starts with enrolling in the home-based primary care program. VA home care benefits received through the home-based primary care program include visits from doctors and nurses trained to assist with the veteran’s specific needs. Participants in this program can get assistance with the activities of daily living while receiving treatment for different types of health conditions.
Various types of therapy services can also be provided through this veterans home care program, and mental health counseling may be included. Veterans interested in receiving home-based primary care services should complete the official veterans home care application form.
What are Homemaker/Home Health Aide Services (H/HHA)?
Home health care for veterans is also provided through the Homemaker/Home Health Aide Services program (H/HHA). Through the H/HHA VA home care program, trained caregivers come to the veteran’s home to provide help with daily tasks. These VA home care assistants are not registered nurses but are supervised by a registered nurse and specially trained to assist with the activities of daily living.
The H/HHA veterans home care program is helpful to regular caregivers in that it provides vital respite services that allow the primary caregiver to take a break from their regular duties. Providers of H/HHA VA home care help veterans remain in their own homes longer by helping with shopping, transportation, cleaning and cooking.
Learn About Adult Day Health Care
VA home care choices include the option of having a portion of the veteran’s care provided at a facility outside the home. These veterans home care options are often located in community centers and other civilian or military facilities and provide veterans with the opportunity to socialize with their peers. Adult day care centers support home care efforts by allowing caregivers some personal time away from their veteran. Because of social interaction, recreational activities and companionship available at an adult day care program, vets usually enjoy a higher level of physical and mental health.
As with all options for home health care for veterans, adult day care eligibility is linked to the clinical need for this kind of service. Generally, VA home care patients visit the adult day care center anywhere from two to five times each week.
Get Information About Palliative Care
Palliative VA home health care is a type of care that provides pain relief and comfort care to veterans suffering from chronic disability or illness. Because this VA home care program assists with pain relief, it helps veterans continue to do the activities they enjoy for a longer period of time than they may have been able to without palliative care. This is slightly different from the VA disability compensation program.
One hallmark of palliative VA home care is its focus on meeting the full mental, physical and spiritual needs of the veteran. Palliative providers team with other health care providers to create treatment plans that honor the veteran’s personal religious and cultural beliefs and practices.
Find Out About Hospice Care
Hospice veterans home care is intended for veterans with untreatable health conditions who only have a certain amount of time left to live. Hospice VA home care can be helpful not only to the veteran but also to his or her family members and caregivers as they accept and mourn the end of the veteran’s life. Bereavement support is a primary part of hospice veterans home care, and it can also be provided in hospitals or other clinical settings.
As with palliative VA home care benefits, hospice care seeks to meet the veteran’s needs in a way that honors his or her religious, cultural and personal beliefs. The type of VA home care provided by a hospice team centers around pain control and end-of-life comfort care.
Learn About Homebound or Remotely Located Veteran Home Care Options
A veteran may still receive VA home care benefits even if he or she is totally house-bound or lives far away from any VA medical facility. The Skilled Home Health Care for veterans program links veterans in need of medical services to community-based home health or nurse agencies to meet the veteran’s need for medical care and daily living assistance. Various social services and therapies are also available through the Skilled Home Health Care for veterans program.
As the name indicates, the Home Telehealth VA home care program uses technology to monitor the veteran’s current health status at any given time. A Home Telehealth VA home care program is often used alongside one of the other veterans home care programs outlined above because it allows health care providers to stay on top of the veteran’s current medical condition. Likewise, homebound veterans may consider the having prescriptions sent using the TRICARE pharmacy home delivery.
What is the Shared Decision Making program?
VA home health care decision making should be an effort that reflects a partnership between the veteran, his or her health care team and the family members involved in the veteran’s care. The veterans home care Shared Decision Making (SDM) program helps to get everyone on the same page by providing various worksheets and other tools that help organize thoughts into plans of action. SDM also serves providers of home health care for veterans by making all parties aware of every health care option available to the veteran and what is involved in receiving each type of care.