Our national population continues to grow older, with agencies dealing with a need for senior health care programs that are effective, yet affordable.
Having pioneered the way for many years, the Veterans Administration (VA) has responded with innovative programs that have cut health care costs. Although you may have read about its bureaucratic bumbles at times, the VA has maintained strength in its mission to help veterans as they age. VA has created quality health care options, even with restrictions on budget and continued growing numbers of elderly veterans. Older veterans in need of home care have almost quadrupled just since 2000, and VA medical centers across the U.S. have responded to the need by adding palliative care programs which are improving the quality of life for veterans with life-threatening illnesses.
10,000 boomers are celebrating their 65th birthday daily now, with veteran numbers even higher per population, creating a demand for compassionate solutions that work. The VA has proactively created new social, behavioral, and physical health care options to meet the needs of U.S. veterans with a personal approach allowing veterans to customize health care services based on home care needs and preferences in their later years.
Hospice can be combined with home palliative care, allowing medical treatments to be administered throughout hospice care. Medicare won’t permit these two programs to work together, meaning a person with kidney failure might be forced to forgo dialysis when choosing hospice care.
The VA’s more caring approach means veterans don’t forgo medical treatments if they’re in hospice care. Hopefully, Medicare follows suit and provides a similar offering soon.
VA’s combined services of home care and hospice were found to reduce suffering, making it less stressful for patients and their families to make the final transition toward end of life. Skeptics were concerned that this would mean higher expenses in care, but they were proven wrong. It’s actually less costly than the previous hospice-only option. Palliative home care reduced veteran hospitalizations, thus reducing total health care expenses.
Home care solutions are part of the answer to rising health care costs in the U.S. Are you trying to navigate all the options for you or your loved one? Call your local Home Care Assistance office today so we can help you understand your veteran home care options.
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