The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a wide range of care options for qualified veterans. This includes those who need assistance in the home for basic daily tasks.
Many veterans eligible for in-home care don’t need a full range of skilled care that a trained nurse can provide. But they may need assistance with self-care, some skilled care, and help with daily activities. This is one reason why the VA offers a program to provide help called Homemaker and Health Aide Care.
This program is described on the VA official site as providing “a trained person who can come to a Veteran’s home and help the Veteran take care of himself and his daily activities.”
Homemakers and Home Health Aide program workers are not necessarily nurses. But they are “supervised by a registered nurse who will help assess the Veteran’s daily living needs.”
What Is The Difference Between The VA Respite Care Program and Homemaker and Health Aide Program?
These two programs have some similar features, but are not quite the same. For all intents and purposes, veterans and their families can use either one to provide relief for a primary caregiver.
However, the VA Homemaker and Health Aide program does not require the veteran to be providing relief for someone else. The help from this program can be the veteran’s primary source of help depending on circumstances.
VA Homemaker and Health Aide Care: Who Is Eligible for the Program
This VA program is designed to help veterans in need of case management, skilled services, assistance with daily activities. They provide aid with bathing, meal preparation, getting medication on a schedule, etc.
Those who use this program may already have a regular in-home provider. But in cases where that provider needs some time off, the program is suitable to provide relief for a primary caregiver.
The VA official site states that Homemaker and Home Health Aide services can be used “in combination with other Home and Community Based Services.”
In general, eligibility for this program is open to those who are eligible for and enrolled in the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package. The VA official site states that there must be a clinical need for these services and that a copay may apply, “based on your VA service-connected disability status.”
This program is designed to let veterans remain at home rather than in a skilled care facility. The program is open to qualified applicants regardless of age.
Who Are The Care Providers?
Homemaker Home Health Aides are generally employed by a third party agency that has contracted with the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are normally not directly employed by the VA, based on the information provided by the VA.
Available Services for VA Homemaker And Health Aide Care
In general, the kinds of services offered to clients of this VA care program will depend on the applicant’s needs. Veterans should discuss those needs with family members before applying.
There should definitely be some planning conversations between the veteran, family, and current care providers. They should discuss what daily needs should be prioritized and how often the care is required.
The following list of services is not all-inclusive, but a general list of things a vet might need assistance with under this program. The actual services you get will depend on your request. This is why it’s such a good idea to discuss the needs prior to applying for the Homemaker and Health Aide Care program.
Veterans can get help that includes but is not limited to the following areas:
- Restroom assistance
- Moving around within the home
- Shopping for food
- Paying bills
- Managing money
- Taking medication
- Transportation to appointments
- Communication by phone
Important Things to Remember About The VA Homemaker and Health Aide Care Program
- The VA official site states clearly that Homemaker Home Health Aide services are part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package.
- That means that all enrolled veterans are eligible for Homemaker and Health Aide Care benefits as long as the patient can demonstrate a clinical need for the services.
- Co-pays for Homemaker and Home Health Aide services may be charged based on the patient’s VA service-connected disability status. This may be assessed on an individual basis. Be prepared to provide copies of paperwork such as VA award letters, discharge documents, etc.
- Homemaker Home Health Aide services can be used together with other important benefits in this area including other Home and Community-Based Services.
- You will be asked a variety of questions as part of the screening for the program. It’s best to anticipate them and think carefully about your needs. Those questions may include things related to the amount of assistance you need day-to-day. You should ask how difficult it is to bathe or dress on your own. Lastly, consider the amount of independence you need and level of comfort without support during these times.
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