Breaking News
More () »

Bill would allow more veterans to age at home, rather than moving into nursing homes

"The Elizabeth Dole Home Car Act" would expand access to home and community-based services for aging vets.

WASHINGTON — More help could be in store for our nation's heroes.

A new bill would expand access to home and community-based services for aging veterans, keeping them in their own homes instead of forcing them to go into assisted living.

An estimated 80% of the nation's 18 million military veterans will have some need for long-term services and supports in their lifetime, according to the Rand Corporation.

Many aging veterans would undoubtedly prefer to "age in place" at home rather than entering a nursing home for long-term care. 

"A lot of veterans in retirement, they would rather have a couple of hours a day of care or a few times a week in their hose, rather than move into a residential care facility as they age," said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia).

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides or pays for long-term care for more than 500,000 veterans each year according to the Government Accountability Office.

The VA's stated goal is to honor veterans' preferences by allowing them to receive long-term care at home or in the least restrictive setting possible. 

"The Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act would help, expanding access to home and community-based services including long term services and supports for aging veterans and improve the VA's support for veterans and caregivers of all ages," Kaine said.

 Kaine is a co-sponsor.

"The whole thrust of the bill, it was a real passion of Secretary Dole's, was to give our veterans more options to get care where they want. It's a good bill, bipartisan, and we're really going to push to try and make it happen," he said.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill would increase spending subject to appropriation by $120 million and would increase direct spending by $82 million over the 2023-2033 period.

Before You Leave, Check This Out