Wash Post: VA Building Up $20.7M/Year Foster Home Program

In an effort to move U.S. veterans away from nursing homes, Veterans Affairs is working on placing aging veterans into private homes under the Medical Foster Home program,

The $20.7 million-per-year program is small — and difficult to scale thus far — because of the high standards of the potential foster homes for the 1,000 veterans in 42 states and Puerto Rico, according to the report.

The program reportedly saves the U.S. government about $10,000 per month on nursing home care, as the veterans pay caregivers $1,500-$3,000 per month — with an average of $2,300 — which most veterans can afford through their V.A. compensation, social security, and savings, per the Post.

In addition to the cost benefits, veterans get to live in family like and homelike situations, as the caregivers must live onsite and not work away from home.

All told, the program has grown to 700 licensed and vetted caregivers for no more than three veterans apiece, provided round-the-close care, supervision, and fellowship. The homes are licensed by states as an assisted-living facility and submit to unannounced VA inspections by nurses, pharmacists, and nutritionists, according to the report.

The caregivers must pass a federal background check, complete 80 hours of training before accepting patients, and complete 20 more hours of training per year.