Medical Foster Homes are private homes in which a trained caregiver provides services to a few individuals. Some, but not all, residents are Veterans. VA inspects and approves all Medical Foster Homes.
A Medical Foster Home can serve as an alternative to a nursing home. It may be appropriate for Veterans who require nursing home care but prefer a non-institutional setting with fewer residents.
Medical Foster Homes have a trained caregiver on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This caregiver can help the Veteran carry out activities of daily living, such as bathing and getting dressed. VA ensures that the caregiver is well trained to provide VA planned care. While living in a Medical Foster Home, Veterans receive Home Based Primary Care services.
Am I Eligible?
Medical Foster Homes are not provided or paid for by VA. To be eligible for a Medical Foster Home you need to be enrolled in Home Based Primary Care, and a Home needs to be available. Your VA social worker or case manager can help you with eligibility guidelines for Home Based Primary Care and Medical Foster Home Care.
You will have to pay for the Medical Foster Home yourself or through other insurance. The charge for a Medical Foster Home is about $1500 to $3000 each month based on your income and the level of care you need. The specific cost is agreed upon ahead of time by you and the Medical Foster Home caregiver.
Talk with a VA social worker/case manager to find out if you are entitled to additional VA benefits that will help pay for a Medical Foster Home.
Find out more about Paying for Long Term Care.
You will continue to receive Home Based Primary Care services in the Medical Foster Home. You may also receive the following services from the Medical Foster Home caregiver.
- Help with your activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed)
- Help taking your medications
- Some nursing assistance, if the caregiver is a registered nurse
- All of your meals
- Planned recreational and social activities
- Peace of mind when Home and Community Based Services can no longer meet the Veteran's needs at home
- A place to enjoy spending time with the Veteran
How do I decide?
You can use a Shared Decision Making Worksheet to help you figure out what long term care services or settings may best meet your needs now or in the future. Find out about how you can use the Shared Decision Making approach.
There's also a Caregiver Self-Assessment. It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach good long term care decisions.
Your physician or other primary care provider can answer questions about your medical needs. Some important questions to talk about with your social worker and family include:
•How much assistance do I need for my activities of daily living (e.g., bathing and getting dressed)?
•What are my caregiver's needs?
•How much independence and privacy do I want?
•What sort of social interactions are important to me?
•How much can I afford to pay for care each month?
If a Medical Foster Home seems right for you, your VA social worker can help you locate one and assist with making arrangements.
What do others say?
A Medical Foster Home helped me not be a burden on my family while getting care from the spinal cord injury team.
I thought it was time for my dad to move into a nursing home to help manage his medical care, but a Medical Foster Home allowed him to get great care in a smaller setting that felt more like our home. I am so pleased this elder care option is available.
Maggie, Veteran's daughter and caregiver