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Over the next two decades, a rapidly-growing elderly veteran population will strain the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) ability to provide long-term care (LTC). The number of veterans with service-connected disability ratings of 70% or higher, for whom VA is required to provide necessary LTC care services—and who are also at least 85-years old—is expected to grow by almost 600%. As a result, costs for LTC services and supports are expected to double by 2037 just to maintain current services.

S.141, the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, would improve VA programs for home and community-based services for veterans, and also offer a range of programs that may be less expensive and more preferable to veterans as they age.

Consistent with DAV Resolution No. 016, DAV strongly supports S.141, which would increase the expenditure cap for noninstitutional care alternatives to nursing home care, encouraging more development of home and community services. This legislation would require VA to coordinate with PACE—the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly—for veterans in locations that provide it. It would also require VA to make certain programs, including Veterans Directed Care and Home Maker and Home Health Aide Programs, available at every VA medical center. It would improve respite services for VA's Program for Comprehensive Assistance to Family Caregivers recipients and assist in providing options for caregivers who are not eligible for the program. Finally, it would require VA to develop a centralized website for program information for long-term services and supports.

We are calling on everyone and supporters to contact their senators and urge them to co-sponsor and support S. 141, the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act, to strengthen and expand access to home and community-based services for veterans.