March 5, 2012
Concord, NH – The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) in collaboration with the Belknap County ServiceLink Resource Center, Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health and the VA Medical Center in Manchester have launched a new program to better assist Veterans. The program is a consumer-directed option for Veterans who are eligible for nursing home placement yet wish to remain in the community.
"This program presents an exciting opportunity for New Hampshire Veterans and their Caregivers," said DHHS’ Bureau Chief of Community Based Military Programs, Jo Moncher. "Veterans can remain in their home while still receiving the care they need. They have served our country, and this program allows us to serve them - with the dignity and quality of life that they deserve."
The Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Services program (VD-HCBS) is in response to a national effort by the Veterans Health Administration to allow Veterans receiving services more choice and control over the services they receive.
The VD-HCBS program is being piloted in Belknap County through the ServiceLink Resource Center. The program was officially launched with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health in Laconia.
“Cutting the ribbon symbolizes a radical change in how aging Veterans with chronic and disabling conditions, choose, pay for, evaluate, and modify the home care services they need to remain in their homes,” said Erik Johannessen, Social Work Executive at the Manchester VAMC. “The Department of Veteran Affairs, in a true pioneering spirit, with state and community partners, moves the control of necessary home care services from outside of the Veteran to the Veteran.”
BEAS Administrator Diane Langley welcomes the implementation of this new program. “The self-directed model that is critical to the Veterans Directed HCBS program is consistent with the direction of home and community based care programs offered by DHHS,” she said. “BEAS thanks all of the partners involved in the start-up of this program, at the federal, state, and community level, for their commitment to expanding the range of options available to veterans and their families.”
More information about Veteran-Directed Home and Community Based Care Services can be found on the Veterans Administration website at: www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/Veteran_Directed_Home_and_Community_Based_Services_Program.asp or by calling Belknap County ServiceLink at 603-528-6945.