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Congressman Zeldin Op-Ed: Delivering Adult Day Health Care for Disabled Veterans

"This bill will give veterans the care that they have earned while providing families with the support and relief they need help their veteran loved-one to lead a fulfilling life."

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Congressman Lee Zeldin meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.

Photo by: Office of Congressman Lee Zeldin

Long Island, NY - March 19, 2018 - As a nation, we have a responsibility to ensure our nation’s heroes have the tools they need on the battlefield and the care and benefits they have earned when they return home. That is why I introduced the Adult Day Health Care Act (H.R.1005/S.324), which as of last week, has now been sent to President Trump for his signature following House and Senate passage. My proposal will provide access to Adult Day Health Care for disabled veterans who need extra assistance and special attention in their day to day lives.
Veterans with a 70% or more service connected disability rating often require significant assistance in order to carry out everyday tasks. Many times, the burden falls on family members of disabled veterans; some veterans may even need to reside in institutionalized facilities to receive the daily assistance of a trained medical professional. This type of financial and emotional burden is not what our nation's heroes and dedicated families deserve.
Adult Day Health Care provides comprehensive medical and personal care combined with engaging social activities for the physically or cognitively impaired as well as an array of therapies and counseling, all while maximizing independence and quality of life. This program is currently offered at only 3 State Veterans Homes in the country, one being the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook. This means that most veterans are unable to afford or access this type of quality care.
My bill defines the Adult Day Health Care program as a reimbursable treatment option through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which guarantees all severely disabled veterans are able to access Adult Day Health Care at no cost to them and helps expand the program to all 153 State Veterans Homes (SVH) across the country. Whether it’s a Vietnam veteran affected by agent orange or an Iraq War veteran with a traumatic brain injury, every veteran qualifies with a 70% or more service connected disability.
Our nation's veterans and their dedicated families have sacrificed enough. This bill will give veterans the care that they have earned while providing families with the support and relief they need help their veteran loved-one to lead a fulfilling life, while keeping families together and strong. When our nation needed them, these veterans answered the call of duty. Now it’s our turn. It is our duty as Americans to help these brave and selfless heroes.