Senior Living Communities for Veterans
Are you, or your senior, a veteran of the US military and thinking about your retirement options? If you are exploring future senior living options and missing the camaraderie of fellow service members, consider moving to a retirement community that caters to Veterans.
Care Options for Veterans
Community Nursing Homes
These homes are places for veterans to receive 24/7 skilled nursing care. The VA will contract with nursing homes around the country to help care for veterans. There are many communities that offer this type of care, so your senior veteran is likely to find a community nursing home nearby.
According to the VA, eligibility for this senior veteran community is based upon clinical need and setting availability. If you meet eligibility requirements, however, the VA will pay for your community nursing home care.
Community Living Centers
Veteran community living centers are designed to feel as close to a “home” as possible. Residents can stay as short or as long as they need while receiving nursing care. There also are activities and places for friends and family to visit to really give it that community feel.
Residents have access to 24-hour skilled nursing care, restorative care, and social work services access. Some of the communities are for palliative or hospice care, memory care, and respite care as well. Most VA community living centers are on or close to a VA medical center campus.
The VA will pay for your care if you meet eligibility criteria including being enrolled in the VA health system, and are medically and psychiatrically stable.
Medical Foster Home Care
Medical foster homes are private homes where specially trained caregivers will care for a few individuals. It serves as an alternative to a nursing home for veterans that may require nursing home care but prefer few people and a non-institutional setting.
Medical foster homes are not provided by or paid for by the VA, though they will approve and inspect the homes. Trained caregivers are on duty 24/7 and the VA will ensure that the caregiver is trained in giving VA planned care. The average cost is about $1,500-3,000 per month and is based on resident needs and income level.
State Veterans Homes
State Veterans Homes are places that provide nursing home, home care, or adult day services. They are owned, operated, and managed at the state level. There are State Veterans Homes in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Some state homes may allow non-Veteran spouses and gold star parents (parents of a veteran who died while in service), but others will only admit veterans. The VA may give funds to these homes to pay for the cost of care of Veterans, but will not pay for non-Veteran care. Federal regulations do require 75 percent of the bed occupants to be veterans.
Visit the National Association of State Veteran Homes to find a state veteran home near you.
Military Retirement Communities
There are two types of military retirement communities: federal and private. There is also a federal military retirement community agency, the Armed Forces Retirement Home with two campuses in Gulfport, MS, and Washington, D.C.
Every veteran retirement living community is different. Some offer various types of housing options, while other will specialize in just assisted living or skilled nursing care. Some veteran senior living communities cater exclusively to former military personnel, while other will also admit general public.
Eligibility for Veteran Retirement Communities
Each senior veteran housing community will have different requirements to be able to stay there, but if you are looking into staying at one of the AFRH campuses, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- Be at least 60 years old with at least 20 years of active service and honorably discharged or released
- Be unable to earn an income due to injuries or disabilities incurred in line of duty
- Have served in a women’s component in the Armed Forces prior to June 12, 1984, and are seen to have reasons for admittance as declared under the rules by the chief operating officer
- Are able to live independently at the time of admissions, though continuing care is available afterward.
If you or your loved one choose not to live in a senior living community for veterans, and you meet the requirements, you can still use veteran benefits to help pay for other senior living options.