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Through the HBPC program, medical staff will make house calls for some geriatric veterans. The VA offers this service to qualifying vets who are living at home and have difficulty getting to VA medical facilities for routine care. According to the website, a veteran who is enrolled in VA health benefits could qualify if he or she is frail, has a medical condition that makes leaving the house difficult, or if their caregiver does not drive. A team of physicians, physician assistants, nurses and/or social workers will make house calls, manage care, and can even collect lab samples in the home. The veteran must live within a certain radius of the nearest VA facility.


My apologies for posting if this program's existence is common knowledge. We have been telling VA staff (medical personnel and social workers) for years that it is really difficult for our nonagenarian vet to get out of the house to his appointments, and no one has ever mentioned it to us. It was a fluke that I found it last night after looking for other info on the VA website.


I hope this is of use to someone else. You can find it on the VA Geriatrics and Extended Care page under "Home and Community Based Services."


Has anyone used VA Home Based Primary Care? Has the service been beneficial to you and your loved one?

Is this program also available to spouses w dementia of deceased vets?
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Reply to CaregiverL
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Well I couldn't get my spouse to budge to go to the initial appointment with the primary care physician. He's been in bed for a couple of weeks (that's another topic). So the appointment is rescheduled for this Monday and we are going to use a medical transportation service to get there. We will request and hopefully get the referral for a HBC team.
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Reply to gdbrown
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To plug VA, they've been my go-to health source since l976.
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Reply to Cats4Ever
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Today we have the initial appointment with the primary care physician. It will be through this appointment that the HBC team will be addressed and recommended. I also understand that the team is excellent. I'll keep you posted on the progress and prcedutes
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Reply to gdbrown
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Yes, contact VA and they should provide you with those answers. Myhealth.va/gov might be a good place to start. DAV and VFW may be other possible sources.
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Reply to Cats4Ever
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I used the Home Based Primary Care and thought it was amazing!!!!
I had Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers all come to the house.
(schedule them all in the same day if you can it reduces the co-pay if you have one or have them declared "catastrophic" and that will eliminate co-pay)
I also had Hospice and the Hospice and the HBPC worked with Hospice. If a medication that Hospice did not cover was needed they would contact the VA and it would be sent out. I would get calls monthly to update medications and verify that everyone was on the same page. Hospice would sent them info and they would send Hospice info.
I would not have been able to do what I did without the help of the VA and Hospice.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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We are in the initial stage of receiving VA HBPC. Upon enrolling and acceptance last week I explained that my loved one is not ambulatory. A few hours later I received a call to schedule the first visit for this week. How it will play out after the initial visit I'm not sure, but I am optimistic.
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Reply to gdbrown
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I hope to use them very soon Im so glad I asked for help
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Reply to carolnancy01
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lindylu, they don't usually, they usually have somebody that does it for them but
rakshita, are you talking about the health care benefits?
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Reply to debdaughter
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I've been told the VA has very strict income limits for benefits, even after 35 years of service and dementia disability.
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Reply to rakshita
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Yes it is interesting, and it makes you wonder how people in their 80s and 90s navigate the system. They have some truly wonderful programs but getting all the information can be really confusing.
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Reply to lindylu
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through the county? isn't it interesting the stuff they don't tell you; do you know about their homemaker/home health aide program?
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Reply to debdaughter
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Thanks Deb! Our social worker through the county told us that so we were suspecting it was the case but the VA itself had not told us that. :)
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Reply to lindylu
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you do know you have to be approved by your primary you're seeing now, don't you?
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Reply to debdaughter
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Debdaughter, thanks for the tip. I hope they approve your family soon!

Carefordad, thank you! That is very helpful! Hearing about your experiences with it is very encouraging and we are excited about the program.
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Reply to lindylu
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make really sure about the distance, however; I've been having a really hard time with them trying to determine if we're too close or too far, if you have to be within a certain distance or far enough away - either way, we're right on the line, so having a hard time
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Reply to debdaughter
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Lindylu, I was talking about the home based team. They are geriatric doctors and can provide great care. They will also supply equipment, diapers, wipes, gloves, and ensure. Takes a little to get the ball rolling, but once you do, they will support you.
Hope this is helpful.
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Reply to carefordad
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Thank you, Ramiller! :)

Carefordad, that is great to hear! Generally the VA has been really helpful, but the primary care doc and PA he's seen just don’t seem very familiar with treating the frail elderly. We are thinking that the Home Based Care team might be more experienced with the needs of geriatric patients.

Michael, you are so right! The VA has been a huge help to us, and have provided grandpa with a motorized wheel chair, weekly hours of home health care (through A&A), and really nice hearing aides. We did not know how much they could offer older vets till people caring for their veteran dads told us about some of the programs available. (The hearing aides are the first he has been able to use successfully in decades. He never could have afforded something like the VA set on his own. That alone has made a huge difference!)
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Reply to lindylu
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Just to plug the VA, I knew someone who was caring for his father who suffers from Alzhiemer's. The VA built them a metal ramp for their front door.
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Reply to o0MichaeL0o
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This program is very helpful. My Dad is 83, has dementia, and is immobile. We have had the doctor, nurse, nurse practioner, dietitian, aides, OT, PT, and social worker all come to our home and they are all wonderful! The VA will also provide equipment to make your life easier. Can't say enough good things about this program.
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Reply to carefordad
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Lindylu, thank you for sharing this info. There are programs out there that people could benefit from but so many are almost impossible to find. This info will help many.
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Reply to ramiller
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Thanks Garden Artist!
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Reply to lindylu
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Hmmm... I posted an answer and apparently it disappeared. Well, here goes again...

I think that I read something about this the last time we were at the VA. I believe I picked up a flyer but when I got home I probably filed it with a pile of VA filing that I need to wade through. That includes information on VA dental services.

I did check the website, added it in bold to my database and will read it over - it seems like a valuable program, and we eventually might need it.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness in sharing this with others.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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