VA Medical Foster Home Fact Sheet

Medical Foster Home (MFH) is an alternative to nursing home in a personal home, for selected Veterans who are no longer able to safely live independently. MFH is a type of Community Residential Care (CRC) home chosen by Veterans with serious chronic disabling conditions that meet nursing home level of care need, but prefer a non-institutional setting for their long-term care. This Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) MFH program brings together a person who is willing to open their home and serve in the role of a strong family caregiver, the VA MFH Coordinator who manages the program, and a VA interdisciplinary home care team that provides care in the MFH to the Veteran and training to the MFH caregiver. The MFH is matched with the Veteran’s physical, social, and emotional needs, including supervision and protection.

The MFH coordinator finds a caregiver in the community who is willing to take a Veteran into their home and provide 24-hour supervision as well as needed personal assistance. VA provides comprehensive primary care through the interdisciplinary home care team, and the Veteran pays the caregiver. The expectation is that this is a long-term commitment, where the Veteran may live for a few years, often for the remainder of his or her life. The Veteran pays the caregiver approximately $2000 to $3500 per month (average is $2,400) depending upon the cost for similar services in a particular geographic area, the Veteran care needs and financial situation.

The VA interdisciplinary home care team is an integral component of MFH, usually provided through either Home Based Primary Care (HBPC), Spinal Cord Injury Home Care (SCI-HC), or Mental health Intensive Case Management (MHICM). Staff from these programs makes home visits to provide home assessment, caregiver support and education, direct patient care, and oversight.

MFH follows CRC requirements for oversight, recruitment and inspection of these homes in which to place Veterans. When applicable/required in each state, any existing regulations and licensure for MFH may apply.

MFHs are generally distinguished from assisted living or other CRC homes in that, 1) the home is owned or rented by the MFH caregiver who lives in the MFH and provides personal care and supervision; 2) all Veterans in MFH meet nursing home level of care need; 3) there are no more than three residents receiving care in the MFH, including both Veterans and non-Veterans; and 4) MFH residents are enrolled in a VA interdisciplinary home care program. These factors facilitate matching suitable MFHs with the greater complexity of this subset of Veterans, achieving safe and therapeutic care in a small personal home.

At Phoenix VAHCS, contact: 480-369-3116