Medical Foster Home: Care for Veterans


  KATHRYN SCHAEFER WEST: MEDICAL
FOSTER HOME IS A CARE OPTION   THAT VETERANS CAN UTILIZE WHERE
THEY LIVE IN A TRADITIONAL HOME   WITH A FAMILY, AND THERE’S
NO MORE THAN 3 RESIDENTS   UNDER CARE.   IT’S A REALLY HIGHLY
INDIVIDUALIZED CARE SETTING   WHERE YOU’LL HAVE ONE
CAREGIVER SERVING 3 VETERANS,   AND SO WHATEVER THE VETERAN IS
INTERESTED IN, IT’S ACTUALLY   GENERALLY VERY EASY TO CREATE
THAT LIFESTYLE FOR THEM.   GARY GOLDISH: WE PARTNER WITH
PRIVATE HOMES AND FAMILIES TO   PROVIDE A HOME-LIKE ATMOSPHERE
FOR VETERANS TO LIVE.   THEY PROVIDE 24 HOURS A DAY,
7 DAYS A WEEK SUPPORT   IN A HOME ENVIRONMENT.   – NOBODY UNDERSTANDS
MY JOKES, THOUGH.   – YEAH. THE DOGS GIVE YOU AWAY.   THAT’S HOW I KNOW
YOU’RE IN THE KITCHEN.   [LAUGHTER]   SCHAEFER WEST: AND IT’S A HOME
WHERE THERE’S A LOT OF LOVE.   A FOUNDATION PIECE OF
FOSTER CARE, IN ADDITION TO   INDIVIDUALIZED CARE, IS
LOOKING FOR FAMILIES THAT ARE   VERY WARM AND LOVING.   ONCE WE’VE SELECTED A HOME
THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST TO   A VETERAN–AND SOMETIMES IT’S
2 OR 3 HOMES–WE REALLY   ENCOURAGE TO GO ON TOURS,
TO MEET THE CAREGIVER,   TO SEE THE HOME.   IT ALSO HELPS US TO BEST
UNDERSTAND IF THERE’S ANY   ADAPTATIONS THAT NEED TO
BE MADE TO ENVIRONMENTS   SUCH AS RAMPS.   GERARD VENEMAN: WE CONDUCT ABOUT
4 DIFFERENT INSPECTIONS   OF A HOME.   WE DO AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY,
I.E. ACCESSIBILITY, INSPECTION.   WE DO A NURSING INSPECTION.   WE DO A DIETARY INSPECTION.   WE DO A FIRE AND SAFETY
INSPECTION, AND THEN   THE MEDICAL FOSTER HOME
COORDINATOR ALSO DOES   AN INSPECTION AND DOES
IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWING   OF THE OWNER/CAREGIVER,
AND SO I THINK THAT LOVED ONES,   FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETERANS WHO
ARE CONCERNED CAN REALLY TAKE   GREAT COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT
THERE IS A LOT OF OVERSIGHT.   – OH, HE’S KIND OF
THE GUARD DOG THEN.   – YEAH. HE’S
CHECKING IT ALL OUT.   – HE’S A SPOOK.
HE TELLS ON ME.   – HE’S A LITTLE SNITCH.
– A LITTLE SNITCH.   KEVIN HARTY: WHAT YOU NORMALLY
DO AS A FAMILY IS WHAT THEY’RE   DOING HERE, AND IT’S THE
CAREGIVERS THAT DO THAT BECAUSE   THEY’RE NOT WILLING
TO LET THESE GUYS   BE DEPRIVED OF THEIR LIFE JUST   BECAUSE THEY MAY HAVE MEDICAL
NEEDS THAT POP UP OR THEY MAY   HAVE DISABILITIES THAT
CAN’T BE MANAGED AS WELL   ON THEIR OWN.   SO THEY REALLY ARE THE
LIFELINE TO THE COMMUNITY THAT   THEY’D BE LACKING OTHERWISE.   – I WOULD SAY IF YOU WANT TO
HAVE SOME COMRADESHIP AND SOME   FUN, ENJOYMENT, GET ALONG WITH
THE OTHER GUYS AND THE PEOPLE,   DO IT, DO IT.   YEAH.   IT GIVES YOU MORE SECURITY,
MORE FEELING OF BELONGING.   THAT’S GOOD.   SCHAEFER WEST: ONE OF
THE REALLY UNIQUE CAVEATS   OF THE VA MEDICAL FOSTER HOME
PROGRAM IS THAT EVERY VETERAN   IS FOLLOWED BY THE VA HOME
BASE PRIMARY CARE TEAM.   THIS IS A SPECIALIZED TEAM
THAT’S INTERDISCIPLINARY.   THEY MEET WITH THE VETERANS
TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE   AND ASSESSMENT AND HELP
THEM CREATE THEIR CARE PLAN   IN THE HOME.   THEY ALSO ARE THERE TO PROVIDE
SUPPORT TO THAT CAREGIVER   SO THAT THEY’RE CONTINUING
TO THRIVE, AS WELL.   HARTY: I’M GONNA LISTEN TO
YOUR HEART FIRST, SO JUST   BREATHE NORMALLY TO START.   SCHAEFER WEST: WE SEE THE
BENEFITS OF MEDICAL FOSTER   HOME BEING THINGS LIKE
IMPROVED STRENGTH,   FLEXIBILITY,
DECREASE OF WOUNDS.   WE SEE HAPPINESS.   I HAVE ALSO SEEN VETERANS
DECREASE PAIN MEDICATION   AND MENTAL HEALTH MEDICATION.   VENEMAN: THE GREATEST SOLE
SATISFACTION THAT I GET FROM   DOING THIS JOB IS THE
GRATEFULNESS THAT I HEAR FROM   THE VETERANS, THE GRATEFULNESS
THAT I HEAR FROM THE FAMILY   MEMBERS AND LOVED ONES.   I MEAN, THEY HAD NO IDEA
THAT THIS WAS A POSSIBILITY   FOR THEM, AND WHEN WE
CREATE THIS POSSIBILITY   FOR THE VETERAN, THEY’RE
JUST ECSTATIC ABOUT IT.   – FREEDOM. I HAVE FREEDOM, SO
I JUST APPRECIATE EVERYTHING   THAT THE VA HAS DONE TO
MAKE LIVING HERE MORE   COMFORTABLE AND SAFE.   DEFINITELY SAFE.  

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