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Good-hearted souls sought by Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center to open homes to vets

The Medical Foster Home Program seeks in-home caregivers for veterans as an alternative to nursing homes.

HAMPTON, Va. — It is the intersection of "where our heroes meet angels."

The Hampton Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center is seeking good-hearted local residents who'd be willing to provide medical foster homes for vets.

It's a program they've been doing for years, but right now they have no homes and no volunteers. 

Not every patient who comes to the VA needs to go into the hospital. But some do need a long-term place to go. And that's what the Medical Foster Home Program is all about.

With nearly 38,000 homeless veterans across the country and more than 82,000 in nursing homes, there is a need for everyday families to open up their doors to America's heroes through the program.

An alternative to nursing homes for selected veterans who are no longer able to live independently, foster homes may be appropriate for vets who require nursing care but prefer a non-institutional setting with fewer residents.

Caregivers provide care and supervision 24 hours a day, seven days a week, helping with activities of daily living, such as bathing and getting dressed. 

"The concept is veterans who are unable to live independently and safely in the community. and it's an opportunity for them to have long-term care, but in the caregiver's home," said Hampton VA Medical Center Medical Foster Home Program Coordinator Evie Woods.

She says the challenge is acute right now in Hampton.

"You know, I've had other staff here within the medical center who have reached out to me about veterans who could benefit from this service. However, we don't have any homes to place them in currently," Woods said.

With so many patriotic, military-minded people in Hampton Roads, Woods says she is "absolutely excited" about what the future holds for the program in this community.

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