All of us are thrilled that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs pays for community based services for disabled veterans. Adult day services are among those benefits. Click Here for a breakdown of community based care services the VA reimburses and how they are defined, specifically adult day care.
Current policy requires that in order for a veteran to benefit from the rehabilitative and other support services offered in an adult day health care program, the program must be under contract with the Veterans Administration. Providers, and more importantly veterans and their families complain that this is a cumbersome process that is not only hard to research but even harder to execute. Click Here for one of the largest VA regions in America and search for adult day care and find not one available, contracted program within the entire region.
Would not the system be improved with a process that allows a veteran to identify a program wherein they felt the services they needed were available. The local VA Medical Center case manager would then review the selection and would have the authority to approve such a request. The provider then completes the vendor agreement which can include specific costs of adult day health participation along with a breakdown of services. They collaborate on a Plan of Care and almost immediately the veteran is enrolled and services commence. Or perhaps even a service pre-approval for disabled veterans, similar to what we do for overnight respite care.
Imagine the relief for an elderly spouse who may be rendering care at home with some assistance but can never have an eight (8) hour day completely to themselves. Imagine the impact on the veteran with daily interactions with others who may have similar diagnosis while at the same time benefiting from the joy of a different daily environment.
Let us also not discount the value of the safe, dignified personal care available in so many programs. If you take a look at Roseberry Adult Day in Livonia, MI and Fox Chase in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Central Georgia Adult Day Health & Rehab in Macon, Georgia you will find barrier-free showers that take so much pressure off families and restore dignity to many.
If we want to serve those we claim to care about the most, a little efficiency could go a long way.
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