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No Wrong Door: Supporting Community Living for Veterans

Published: October 24, 2017
Authors: Christina Neill Bowen, Wendy Fox-Grage, Kali Thomas, and James Rudolph

Almost 20 percent of people ages 65 and older are Veterans, and nearly one-third (30 percent) of Veterans live with disabilities, compared with 14 percent of the non-Veteran population. Roughly 4 out of 10 (42 percent) men over age 65 are Veterans.

This paper describes promising practices on how aging and disability network agencies, Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs), and Veteran Benefits Offices in seven states have forged partnerships to better support Veterans in community living.

The paper begins with a checklist for these local organizations to enhance collaboration and truly create a “no wrong door” for veterans and their family caregivers to receive services in the community. The checklist summarizes key tasks described in the paper and links to promising practices and national- and state-developed tools in three key programs: Veteran-Directed Home- and Community-Based Services, Connecting Older Veterans (Especially Rural) to Community or Veteran Eligible Resources, and the Ask the Question initiative. It also includes some opportunities for potential collaboration between aging and disability agencies, VAMCs, and Veteran Benefits Offices regarding home-based care and care transitions.