CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The decision to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility is often a difficult one.
The VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend Health System wants to give local veterans another option.
The program is called VA Medical Foster Homes. There aren't any here, yet, but local VA officials want to change that.
“This program is designed for veterans who would otherwise need a nursing home or assisted living placement,” said Sandi Barnett, local program coordinator.
In order to make the program a reality, the VA needs volunteers. They’re looking for people willing to open their homes to heroes.
“Veterans who don't want to live in and institutionalized environment,” said Barnett. “They would rather live in a private care home and get that one-on-one, individualized care.”
VA medical foster homes typically house between one to three veterans. Those veterans are then placed in the VA’s Home-based Primary Care Program.
“That's where the doctors and nurses go out and visit veterans in the home,” said Barnett.
That means vets living in these foster homes would have their medical appointments come to them.
“They won't be having to come in to the clinic for appointments,” said Barnett. "If they need blood draws, they can get those done in the home."
Barnett is still trying to set up the Coastal Bend's first foster home. Veterans pay their own way through their benefits to cover the costs, typically between $1,500-$3,000 a month. VA Aid & Attendance Pension benefits are also available for homeowners.
Barnett says the program, which has been successful in other areas, gives veterans who should go to a facility, but don't want to, a choice.
“These medical foster homes are designed to be more a a family style (setting) than anything institutionalized,” said Barnett.