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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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Foster homes provide long-term care for Veterans

A woman sits at a kitchen table with a man in a wheelchair petting a dog.

VA NWIHCS is seeking medical foster homes in the Omaha and Grand Island areas.

By Anna Morelock
Friday, March 31, 2017
The Medical Foster Home program is recruiting caregivers in the Grand Island and Omaha areas to provide long-term care in their homes for Veterans. Medical foster homes must be within 30-miles of the Omaha VA Medical Center, or 60 miles of the Grand Island VA Medical Center.The Medical Foster Home program allows caregivers to be their own bosses and allows them to give back to those who have served our country, said Lori Jones, the Medical Foster Home coordinator for VA Nebraska- Western Iowa Health Care System.
Jones related the story of one Veteran who was suicidal and living in an assisted living facility.
"He’ll tell you it saved his life," Jones said of the 74-year-old Veteran’s placement in a Medical Foster Home. "Now he’s got a girlfriend and his health is great. He just truly turned around."
Veterans placed in foster homes can be of any age. Jones recently visited a 96-year-old Veteran who is in an assisted living facility but now needs one-on-one supervision, which the facility can’t provide. A Medical Foster Home would be perfect for him, Jones said.
Medical Foster Homes must be accessible for Veterans with walkers and wheelchairs, and caregivers need to ensure Veterans have 24-hour a day care whether that be from a family member or a paid, relief caregiver.
The program seeks caregivers who have personal or professional care experience. Once approved, Jones acts as a liaison to connect Veterans with caregivers. The Veteran pays between $1,500 and $3,000 a month for care in a Medical Foster Home, which can house up to three Veterans. In return, caregivers provide personal care and supervision, and assist Veterans with appointments and medication.
"The Veterans really become like extended family," Jones said.
Those interested in learning more about the Medical Foster Home program should contact Jones at 402-995-4796 or lori.jones@va.gov. Online, visit https://www.va.gov/ geriatrics/guide/longtermcare/Medical_Foster_Homes.asp.

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