The following video originally appeared on Brut.com.
Veterans are able to experience greater freedom to live fuller lives as part of the VA Medical Foster Home program.
Samuel Maneely is 98 years old and Jacob Tingle is 89 years old. They both live with Sharon Smack-Dixon, who opened her door up to Veterans who can no longer live alone.
“It’s like family,” said Maneely, a World War II Veteran. “We do all kinds of stuff—watch TV, play checkers. We get along.”
“I love that woman,” said Tingle, a Korean War Veteran. “She’s like a sister. I’m very happy here.”
For Smack-Dixon, she said she enjoys the two Veterans because they act as grandfathers to her grandchildren.
“I decided to become a foster home provider because I had my father who I had to take care of and he was a Vet,” she said.
About the program
There are over 1,000 Veterans in the program and 700 Caregivers in 42 states.
Medical Foster Homes are private homes in which a trained caregiver provides services to a few individuals. 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. It may be appropriate for Veterans who require nursing home care but prefer a non-institutional setting with fewer residents.
Medical Foster Homes are private residences where the caregiver and relief caregivers provide care and supervision 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This caregiver can help the Veteran carry out activities of daily living, such as bathing and getting dressed. VA ensures that the caregiver receives VA planned care training. While living in a Medical Foster Home, Veterans receive Home Based Primary Care.
For a list of VA Medical Centers with Medical Foster Home programs, visit https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/docs/VA_Medical_Foster_Home_Locations.pdf. This list includes the VA Medical Centers currently operating a Medical Foster Home program. However, many facilities are in various stages of development of their own programs. Please reach out to your VA social worker to ask about when a Medical Foster Home will be available at a local facility.
Editor’s note: Video courtesy of Brut.com.