Medical Foster Homes Offer Alternative to Nursing Home Care For Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Foster Home Care program is coming to southwest Missouri, which is the program’s latest move as it continues to expand across the country.

Medical Foster Homes are private homes in which a trained caregiver provides services to a few individuals, according to the VA website. 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,” the Veterans Affairs department says in a statement. “It may be appropriate for veterans who require nursing home care but prefer a non-institutional setting with fewer residents.”

Foster care may also provide an alternative for some of the nearly 400 people currently on a waiting list to get into the Missouri Veterans Home in Mt. Vernon, a 200 bed nursing home facility currently at capacity, says local Missouri news station KY3 in a recent article.

But, in order to launch in the Mt. Vernon area, the program needs caregivers to sign up.

Tom Kibler, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force, lives in a medical foster home in Bella Vista, Ark.

Kibler is cared for 24/7 by Jan Dorsey and her husband, David Dorsey.

“In a nursing home there’s lots of old people around, makes you feel older,” Kibler tells KY3. “Jan and David keep me young.”

Elders in a family setting do better, Mike Stracener, the Veterans Health System of the Ozarks’ Medical Foster Home Coordinator in northwest Arkansas, tells KY3.

“Their health care is better, hospitalizations are lower, and it’s just better from a social perspective,” he says.

Read the KY3 article here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell