Travel, Leisure & Fun for South Valley Adults

CalVet Veterans Homes

In this article, I would like to talk about the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Veterans Homes.

Currently, there are eight homes throughout the state with varying levels of care and occupancy statuses. The homes are located in Barstow, Chula Vista, Yountville, West L.A., Lancaster, Ventura, Fresno and Redding. The mission of the Homes is "to provide the state's aged or disabled veterans with rehabilitative, residential and medical care and services in a home-like environment."

The homes are a system of live-in, residential care facilities offering a comprehensive plan of medical, dental, (either on-site or the nearest VA facility), pharmacy, rehabilitation services and social activities within the small community environment. They range in size from 60 residents on a 20-acre site to over 1,000 residents on 500 acres. When all eight homes are fully occupied, they will provide housing and care for approximately 3,000 veterans.

If you are a veteran age 55 or older, and discharged from active military service under honorable conditions, you are eligible to apply for admission. If you are disabled or homeless in need of long-term care, ]the age requirement can be waived. Medal of Honor recipients, ex-POW's and wartime veterans are given priority for admission over peacetime veterans.

To be considered for admission, you must also meet the following:

• Served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for other than training purposes, during wartime or peacetime.

• Provide proof of military service by submitting a DD-214, or obtaining proof through the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA).

• Discharged or released from active duty honorably or under honorable conditions.

• California resident at the time of application for admission.

• Test negative for Tuberculosis (TB).

• Not require more care and supervision than is provided at the Veteran's home of choice.

• Not require acute hospitalization at the time of application.

• Not have a primary need for acute psychiatric care.

• Not have a past history of violence or mental illness, or a criminal record that would create a risk to yourself or the other residents.

• Not be under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances.

• Be enrolled in a qualified federal, state or private health insurance plan, or have an application for such a plan

Levels of care that are available at the homes will vary depending on the home. These levels range from independent living (available at all the homes), up to and including skilled nursing care.

Ken Cruickshank, the Veterans Services Officer for Tulare County, is a retired Navy Master Chief Petty Officer. Contact him at the Veterans Services Office at 3348 W. Mineral King Ave., Visalia; by phone at (559) 713-2880; or by email at


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