This Veterans Day, ACL joins the nation in thanking our brave men and women who have served honorably in the U.S. military (read the proclamation). There are approximately 21 million veterans living today. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, about 9.6 million of these veterans are over the age of 65. In addition, there are nearly four million veterans living with service-connected disabilities.
ACL has been working with the VA on a number of initiatives to support veterans and their families. One such initiative, the Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services Program (VD-HCBS), gives veterans of all ages the opportunity to control and direct their care. Through the program, rather than being assigned services and providers, veterans themselves select the long-term services and supports they need to live at home and engage in their community and manage an individual, VA-funded budget to hire the people who provide them.
Many hire family, friends, and neighbors to provide these services. In fact, a recent study of 10 operational sites reflected that veterans use approximately 72 percent of their monthly budget to hire family caregivers to provide personal care. Veterans report high satisfaction with the program and indicate that the program helped them avoid living in a nursing home.
Currently, 28 states and the District of Columbia offer this program in collaboration with 48 VA Medical Centers. Learn more about the VD-HCBS program and where it is offered.
On Veterans Day, we salute those who have served to preserve our freedom. We are proud to work with the aging and disability networks to offer programs that help our veterans live the lives they envision.