One of the several long-term benefits for older veterans is the Geriatrics and Extended Care Services (GEC). The mission of the GEC is to honor veterans’ preferences for health, independence and well-being in the face of aging, disability, or illness by advancing expertise, programs, and partnerships.
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What Geriatrics and Extended Care Services Are Available for Older Veterans?
Geriatrics and Extended Care is committed to optimizing the health and well-being of veterans with multiple chronic conditions, life limiting illness, frailty or disability associated with chronic disease, aging or injury. The programs focus on maximizing each veteran’s functional independence and lessening the burden of disability on veterans and their families and/or caregivers. Because the course of chronic illness varies, the healthcare needs of the chronically ill veteran also change, requiring the services of one, some, or all Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) Long Term Services and Supports. GEC programs include:
Geriatric Programs: Geriatric Patient-Aligned Care Teams (formerly termed Geriatric Primary Care), Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEM), a variety of dementia initiatives, and the system of nineteen Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (GRECCs).
Extended Care Programs: also known as Long Term Services and support include hospice and palliative care services, facility-based services, and home and community-based programs.
A veteran’s physician, nurse, or social worker should begin the process of applying for this type of assistance. To move forward with this benefit you should contact your local VA social worker or other authority and begin the conversation about benefits available to you.