VETERANS' CORNER: Extended care available for veterans
• EDITOR’S NOTE: Veterans’ Corner, a column to inform armed-forces veterans about services and benefits available to them, appears the first Sunday of each month.
STATE VETERANS’ HOMES
Pennsylvania offers its eligible veterans or surviving spouses extended care facilities throughout the state. The level of care provided includes personal care, skilled nursing care and dementia care.
• An applicant shall be an eligible veteran, spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible veteran. An “eligible veteran” is defined as an individual who has served in the Armed Forces of the United States or Pennsylvania military forces and was discharged under honorable conditions.
• An applicant shall be a bona fide resident of Pennsylvania, or the eligible veteran or spouse of an eligible veteran for whom Pennsylvania is his/her home or record upon entry into the Armed Forces of the U.S. or Pennsylvania military forces. Current residents have priority, however, in admission.
• A resident of a state veterans home shall be required to make monthly payments against maintenance fee liability in accordance with the resident’s ability to pay.
• Admissions will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The admissions committee at the home shall determine the level of care, but its decision may be appealed.
The following are not eligible for admission:
• An applicant whose condition requires mental health care or custody.
• An applicant whose behavior creates a reasonable threat to the health, safety or welfare of himself/herself or to others. This exclusion applies to an applicant who is taking medication to control behavior where in the absence of the medication, the applicant’s behavior would reasonably be expected to create a potential threat to the health, safety or welfare of himself/herself or others.
• An applicant whose condition requires treatment or level of treatment not available at the home, except under circumstances where alternative sources of treatment are reasonably available in the immediate vicinity of the home.
• An applicant with a history of alcoholism or drug abuse whose history indicates that the applicant may not be responsive to treatment or may not accept or participate in available treatment programs.
• An applicant with a contagious disease.
• An applicant who was convicted of a felony, unless the applicant has demonstrated good character and behavior and has no convictions of crimes or offenses for at least five years subsequent to incarceration.
HOLLIDAYSBURG VETERANS HOME
The home’s 514 beds include 66 for domiciliary care, 101 for personal care, 270 for nursing care, and 77 for dementia care. The major difference in the types of residency is the level of care required.
The personal care/domiciliary care unit provides food and shelter, medical and nursing care, ancillary therapeutic services, and recreational activities. Residents receive a supervised, protected environment. When needed, assistance is provided for eating, bathing, shaving and other activities of daily living which do not require constant nursing care. The nursing unit provides 24-hour care, seven days a week. Residents receive a complete range of clinical services under the direction of physicians, nurses and other licensed health care professionals. The dementia specialty unit provides long-term care in a safe and secure environment.
Available to all residents are medical, clinical and nursing services; drug and nutritional therapy; rehabilitative services such as physical therapy and occupational therapy; dental services; social services; and laundry, transportation, housekeeping, maintenance, security, fiscal management, and other related services. Additional services of a specialized nature, such as mental health services, podiatry, and speech/audiology therapy, are provided as necessary to maintain a resident’s quality of life.
FEATURES AND AMENITIES
Completely furnished modern rooms – The amply furnished and cheerful rooms of the home allow residents the opportunity to personalize their living areas, as well as provide a safe and therapeutic environment.
Complete medical services — A medical director and a staff of dedicated clinicians provide a continuum of health care that addresses all aspects of the treatment plan for the veteran residents.
Pharmacy services — A full range of services are available including a licensed pharmacist and qualified staff.
Therapy provided by a trained staff — The physical therapy and occupational therapy departments work toward the fullest possible rehabilitation of every resident. The staff achieves restoration of targeted functions through supervised exercise and training, using advanced appropriate techniques and equipment. Activities are individualized to achieve optimal results. Our therapy staff offers a broad range of intensive therapeutic services designed to maximize the functional capabilities of our residents. Our goal is to enable them to reach their highest level of independence as quickly as possible.
24-hour professional nursing team care – Our excellent, highly trained staff provides specialized care and treatment for the residents. The plan of care that is created for implementation for each resident addresses the medical, dietary, social, and spiritual needs of the resident.
Planned, supervised recreational programs – Recreational activities are based on each resident’s personal lifestyle. The homes promote the concept of a community where a diverse number of veterans can maintain the lifestyles to which they are accustomed. Areas are available for socializing and engaging in hobbies. Facilities and equipment are available for independent activities such as craft work, bingo, billiards, and reading. The homes also schedule trips to sporting events and arranges shopping tours, fishing trips and bowling outings. Activities include season emphasis o holidays offering residents an opportunity to participate in the home’s residential life.
Meals prepared by trained dietary staff — Nutritious meals are prepared under the watchful eye of a professional food service manager and clinical dietitian. Therapeutic diets are created to meet the assessed needs of each resident.
Social Services – A staff of certified professionals in the Social Services Department if regularly available for counseling, conversation, problem-solving, and information on community resources.
Religious Services and spiritual guidance – Chaplains conduct religious services and area also available to any resident in need of spiritual counseling or fellowship.
Barber and beauty service – A licensed barber provides personal grooming.
24-hour security – A staff of security officers ensures protection, emergency responses, and a safe environment to all veterans residents and employees on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week.
Transportation services – Vans, and buses transport residents to local community activities. Some vehicles are equipped with adaptive devices to accommodate those with limited mobility.
Additional ameneties – Cable TV and Internet access is available. A library, snack bar, and gift shop are open for the residents’ convenience.
At the end of April the Johnstown Clinic will be moving to 598 Galleria Drive, Johnstown, PA 15904 (next to Gander Mountain in the Galleria Mall). This is the new and expanded Community Based Outpatient Clinic.
This information is from the Hollidaysburg Veterans Home.
If you have any questions, call Brenda Stormer at the Veterans Affairs Office, (724) 465-3815.