Special remarks from our congressional members:
REPRESENTATIVE BOBBY SCOTT
REPRESENTATIVE ROB WITTMAN
The National Prevention Science Coalition and Bay Aging co-hosted a congressional briefing to discuss alternative models shown to improve both the accessibility and quality of care for veterans with service-related disabilities.
Many veterans with service-related disabilities are nursing home eligible but prefer to remain at home and receive home care services. In general, the needed services are provided by traditional home care agencies which often fall short in terms of the quality of care they provide. In many regions, particularly in rural areas, traditional agency services are too commonly unreliable due to a lack of adequately qualified employees and high employee turnover as a function of low wages. This common scenario leads to a revolving door of agency-provided caregivers which poses challenges to veterans seeking reliable caregivers to meet their needs. In many cases, family members that are frustrated and concerned by inadequate services discontinue their employment outside of the home to care for their loved ones. These families then struggle with insufficient resources to provide support services to meet the veterans’ needs.
Our veterans and their families deserve better! One research-based example that provides for reliable, experienced caregivers and improves physical and mental health is the Veteran Directed Care (VDC) program, a joint effort of the federal Veterans Administration (VA) and the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration on Community Living (ACL). VDC provides funds for veterans to hire at a competitive wage their own knowledgeable and specifically trained caregivers who can best provide for the needs of the veteran on a long-term basis. Often, the trained caregiver is a member of the veteran’s household, which means the veteran gets reliable, knowledgeable care plus increased household income to help meet family needs. The VDC program has greatly improved the care and satisfaction level of assisted veterans while saving money (research shows that 3 veterans can be cared for in their homes for the equivalent cost of one cared for in a nursing home).
This briefing will be of value to legislators/staffers, practitioners, leaders of human services systems, physicians, veterans and their families, and national and community veteran support organizations
Bay Aging salutes Louis Moretti, age 104, for his service to our country and is proud to offer him services through the VDC program. Watch the 1-minute clip to find out how Bay Aging can help you and visit: https://bayaging.org/
Watch the Replay!
For a list of VA Medical Centers and associated Aging and Disability Network Agencies approved as qualified providers for Veteran Directed Care, visit the link below and scroll down to your state. Please advocate for additional VAMCs to begin making veteran referrals to the Veteran Directed Care program!