Critter Corner: What is Homemaker Home Health Aide Care for Veterans?

Hayek 1Dear Hayek,

My mother is a U.S. Navy veteran and we can use some caregiving assistance in her home. Can you tell me a little more about the VA’s Homemaker Home Health Aide Care program? Thanks for your help!

Karen Forravett

Dear Karen,

A Homemaker or Home Health Aide is a trained-person who can come to a veteran’s home and help the veteran take care of themselves and their daily activities. Homemakers and Home Health Aides are not nurses, but they are supervised by a registered nurse who will help assess the Veteran’s daily living needs. Here are some details about the program:

  • This program is for veterans who need skilled services, case management and help with activities of daily living. Examples of activities of daily living include help with bathing, dressing, fixing meals, moving from one place to another, and/or getting to and from appointments;
  • A veteran can continue to receive an aide’s services for as long as the veteran needs extra help with his or her daily activities;
  • This program is also for veterans who are isolated, or for veterans who have a caregiver who needs a break because of caregiver burn-out;
  • Homemaker and Home Health Aide services can be used in combination with other Home and Community Services;
  • Homemaker and Home Health Aides work for an organization that has a contract with VA. A Homemaker or Home Health Aide can be used as a part of an alternative to an assisted living facility or a nursing home, and to get respite care at home for the veteran’s family caregiver;
  • The services of a Homemaker or Home Health Aide can help veterans remain living in their own home and can serve veterans of any age;
  • Services are based on a veteran’s assessed needs. For example, an aide may be able to come to your house several times a week or just once in a while.

Are You Eligible for Homemaker or Home Health Aide Care?

Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care services are part of a service within the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, so all enrolled veterans are eligible if they meet the clinical need for the service.

A co-pay for Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care services may be charged based on the veteran’s VA service-connected disability status. Talk with a VA social worker to find out what specific help your mother may be able to receive.

How Do You or a Loved One Decide if Homemaker or Home Health Aide Care is the Right Path to Take?

You can use this Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community to help you figure out what home care services or long-term care services may best meet your needs now or in the future.

There’s also a Caregiver Self-Assessment that 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, can help you reach short-term and long-term care decisions.

Hope this helps!

Hayek

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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