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Forcing Va To Deal Directly With Caregiver - How?


gwen35045

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My Dad served four years in the USN during Korea. He has been receiving a VA pension for a number of years. In 2006, he was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer and told he had a year to live. He did pretty well until the end of last year, but on 1/20/12 his oncologist told him he has six months. (No he has not been using the VA medical system because he had very good supplemental Medicare insurance and we've heard so many horror stories.) Since 1/20/12, he has gone downhill fast. He is getting weaker and weaker, something the hospice nurses tell me is typical for someone with his diagnosis. He will most likely be bedridden in about a month or two, and at that point will need nursing home care. He has no insurance to cover that, so we will be forced to rely on Medicare/Medicaid and the VA.

My question is this: Every time I try to talk to the VA about how to get him admitted to a VA nursing home, I am told "we have to talk to the veteran." When I ask them what if the veteran is in a coma, their response is "we still have to talk to the veteran." Really? Tell me how you're gonna do that!

My Dad has had bipolar disorder all his life, and while he's not stupid he's lived out in the boondocks all his life and is rather ignorant and unsophisticated. Having to talk to the VA (or any other government agency, company, etc.) has always stressed him out to no end. Now, he is no longer capable of doing so, either mentally or physically. Does anyone know what I can do to force the VA to deal directly with me in getting him approved for VA nursing home care? Thanks in advance for your help.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Call your Dad's VA Social Worker. His Social Worker is assigned by the clinic he goes to at VAMC. Or you can get a Prescription Bottle and ask to speak to his Social Worker assigned to your Dad. They will help you.

Thanks for helping a Veteran

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Also there is a lot of information at

http://www.va.gov/geriatrics/

regarding the types of programs they can provide and eligibility info should be there too.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The VA has a form for almost everything, including

www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-22A-ARE.pdf

When properly filled out, the form appoints you as your fathers VA representative.

The law, in general, allows you to represent your father to the VA on a one time or one claim basis.

Most state law allows you as next of kin to go beyone that in a non VA situation.

It's worthy of note that a VA plus nursing home situation will likely impact your father's VA pension.

Edited by Chuck75
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Just to add , this contians the eligibility criteria for the various types of programs available and also has a phone number for caretakers to use:

http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/benefits_chap01.asp

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My Dad served four years in the USN during Korea. He has been receiving a VA pension for a number of years. In 2006, he was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer and told he had a year to live. He did pretty well until the end of last year, but on 1/20/12 his oncologist told him he has six months. (No he has not been using the VA medical system because he had very good supplemental Medicare insurance and we've heard so many horror stories.) Since 1/20/12, he has gone downhill fast. He is getting weaker and weaker, something the hospice nurses tell me is typical for someone with his diagnosis. He will most likely be bedridden in about a month or two, and at that point will need nursing home care. He has no insurance to cover that, so we will be forced to rely on Medicare/Medicaid and the VA.

My question is this: Every time I try to talk to the VA about how to get him admitted to a VA nursing home, I am told "we have to talk to the veteran." When I ask them what if the veteran is in a coma, their response is "we still have to talk to the veteran." Really? Tell me how you're gonna do that!

My Dad has had bipolar disorder all his life, and while he's not stupid he's lived out in the boondocks all his life and is rather ignorant and unsophisticated. Having to talk to the VA (or any other government agency, company, etc.) has always stressed him out to no end. Now, he is no longer capable of doing so, either mentally or physically. Does anyone know what I can do to force the VA to deal directly with me in getting him approved for VA nursing home care? Thanks in advance for your help.

To my knowledge just about all of the big VAMC's have a dedicated wing

that specifically provides hospice care for veterans and they do a real fine job.

That might be your simplest way to access good services.

Below is some additional information.

Hope this helps a vet and good luck to your family.

VA Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) Referral

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-0415-fill.pdf

APPLICATION FOR FURNISHING LONG-TERM CARE

SERVICES TO BENEFICIARIES OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-1170-fill.pdf

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ADVANCE DIRECTIVES

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-0137B-fill.pdf

VA ADVANCE DIRECTIVE

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE AND LIVING WILL

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-0137-fill.pdf

VA ADVANCE DIRECTIVE

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE AND LIVING WILL

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-0137-fill.pdf

Application for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/10-10CG.pdf

AUTHORIZATION TO DISCLOSE PERSONAL INFORMATION

TO A THIRD PARTY

http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-0845-ARE.pdf

REQUEST FOR AND AUTHORIZATION TO RELEASE MEDICAL

RECORDS OR HEALTH INFORMATION

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/vha-10-5345-fill.pdf

REQUEST FOR AND CONSENT TO RELEASE OF INFORMATION FROM INDIVIDUAL'S RECORDS

http://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA3288.pdf

Birmingham, Alabama VA Medical Center

http://www.birmingham.va.gov/services/palliative_care.asp

Palliative Care

About the Program

The Safe Harbor Palliative Care Service offers inpatient and outpatient consults at the BVAMC. The goal is to relieve the pain and suffering (emotional, physical, social and spiritual) along the continuum of medical care. Although hospice care may be a part of palliative care, it is not synonymous with palliative care. Hospice is a Medicare benefit, which accrues to eligible patients with serious life threatening illness and a life expectancy of no more than 6 to 12 months.

Hospice is most commonly associated with terminal cancer patients, but the role has been expanded to include patients with any end-stage illness for whom goals of care are primarily comfort measures. Examples of this are:

  • End-stage pulmonary,
  • cardiac, liver and
  • renal disease,
  • as well as general debility and
  • end-stage dementia plus
  • other terminal conditions are all appropriate for hospice consideration.

The VA covers the cost of hospice care if the patient is not covered by Medicare.

VAMC - Hospice care Alabama

http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/va_search.jsp?QT=vamc+hospice+care+alabama&UA=Search&RPP=10

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