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J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care. 2016 Jan-Jun;12(1-2):104-25. doi: 10.1080/15524256.2016.1156603.

Allowing Family to be Family: End-of-Life Care in Veterans Affairs Medical Foster Homes.

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a Medical Foster Home Study , Eastern Colorado Health Care System-Veterans Health Administration , Denver , Colorado , USA.
b College of Nursing , University of Colorado Denver: Anschutz Medical Campus , Denver , Colorado , USA.


The Medical Foster Home program is a unique long-term care program coordinated by the Veterans Health Administration. The program pairs Veterans with private, 24-hour a day community-based caregivers who often care for Veterans until the end of life. This qualitative study explored the experiences of care coordination for Medical Foster Home Veterans at the end of life with eight Veterans' family members, five Medical Foster Home caregivers, and seven Veterans Health Administration Home-Based Primary Care team members. A case study, qualitative content analysis identified these themes addressing care coordination and impact of the Medical Foster Home model on those involved: (a) Medical Foster Home program supports Veterans' families; (b) Medical Foster Home program supports the caregiver as family; (c) Veterans' needs are met socially and culturally at the end of life; and (d) the changing needs of Veterans, families, and caregivers at Veterans' end of life are addressed. Insights into how to best support Medical Foster Home caregivers caring for Veterans at the end of life were gained including the need for more and better respite options and how caregivers are compensated in the month of the Veteran's death, as well as suggestions to navigate end-of-life care coordination with multiple stakeholders involved.


Care coordination; Veterans; Veterans Health Administration; end-of-life care

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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