home care for veterans

Veteran Home Care: Navigating VA Options in Carmel, VA

The aging population of the U.S. continues to mature, leaving agencies and health care systems seeking more effective ways to provide high-quality affordable home care solutions.
The Veterans Administration (VA) has been a leader in innovative home care for years, despite any controversies or reports of bureaucratic stumbles you may have read about over the years. Because they have a strong, focused mission, the VA persists in creating functional programs amidst its tough budget constraints and the ever-challenging increase in the numbers of seniors. Since the year 2000, the number of veterans that need home care has quadrupled so VA medical centers across the country have necessarily added palliative care programs for those who are in need.
Why has the VA taken the lead in innovative programming? Data from 2016 provided by the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics showed that veterans have a median age of 64 years, compared to 44 years for non-veterans. In fact, our senior population is mounting with 10,000 boomers turning 65 years old daily, yet the aging veteran numbers are growing even faster, creating a demand for new services and solutions.
People over 85 years of age in the VA population almost tripled between 2000 and 2010. This meant that the VA had to be trailblazers, supporting the social and behavioral aspects of health, in addition to veterans’ physical needs. Their newest approach allows veterans to customize health care differently than other health systems. Budgets for veterans flexibly allow them to make decisions on their personal home care needs.
As an example, the VA has a hospice program that goes hand in hand with palliative care, allowing disease-altering treatments to be administered along with hospice care. This is something that Medicare doesn’t yet consider or allow. Prior to this, patients with kidney failure would have to forgo dialysis in order to receive their hospice care. This newer approach means that aging veterans don’t have to forgo any treatments of care when electing hospice care. This compassionate VA program will hopefully influence Medicare to change programs, too.
VA’s contemporary care of hospice services and home care lessens patients’ pain and eases their last days. At first, concerns were that it would be costly, but the mix has now proven that this is actually less expensive than the alternative. Home care programs have been found to reduce hospitalizations, which reduces health care costs, as well.
With the rising health care costs of older adults, home care options are part of a solution, but it all becomes confusing. Call your local Home Care Assistance office today for help in navigating home care options for you or your loved one!