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Veteran Home Care: Navigating VA Options for Older Veterans

By , 10:25 am on

The population continues to age, with more older adults than ever before. Agencies within our health care system are looking for affordable senior health care programs that are effective, as well as considerate of elderly needs.

Pioneering the way for years, our Veterans Administration (VA) has continually responded with inventive high-quality programs that cut health care costs. Surely, you’ve read about its bureaucratic problems at times, but the VA has continued its strength through its mission to assist veterans and their needs while aging. The VA has generated new health care options, even though it’s highly restricted by budget concerns and the growing numbers of older veterans in need. Aging veterans with home care almost quadrupled since 2000, and VA medical centers have responded to the need by adding palliative care programs across the country, improving veteran quality of life, especially for those with life-threatening situations.

10,000 boomers turn 65 daily now, and veteran numbers are even higher per capita, which has made a new demand for effective solutions. The VA has engineered new social, behavioral, and physical health care options with a personal approach, allowing veterans to personalize health care plans centered on home care needs and family preferences.

For example, hospice can be combined with palliative care at home, allowing medical treatments to continue although Medicare won’t permit these two programs to be combined together. In other words, a person with kidney failure would have to forgo dialysis once hospice care is selected, but with a more caring approach, veterans don’t feel forced to forgo medical treatments while in hospice care. Medicare may follow suit someday and allow a similar offering.

Home care and hospice combined were found to reduce patient suffering, making a final transition toward the end of life easier for both the veteran and family. Skeptics voiced their concerns that this would bring higher costs in health care, but it has actually been found less expensive than hospice-only options. Palliative home care lessens the number of veteran hospitalizations, thus contributing to a reduction in total health care costs.

Home care solutions will continue to be an answer to the rising health care costs in America. Are you feeling stuck trying to navigate through options for you or your elderly loved one? Call your local Home Care Assistance today for help in understanding your veteran home care options.