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Veteran Care: SAIL v. Community Connections

Confused about your options for in-home care?

As veterans, you have important choices to make when you begin to need in-home care. In-home care could help you with mobility, hygiene, bathing, dressing, grooming, and other needs.

Choosing the right program to administer your care may make all the difference in terms of whether you are able to continue to age in place and remain in your home. Community Connections and Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) are two agencies in Ketchikan with care agreements through the Veterans Health Administration. Both agencies can help assist you; here are the differences between our programs so you are able to make an informed decision about which type of care you might prefer.

Veteran-Directed Care (SAIL) Agency-based Care (Community Connections)
Based on your physician’s assessment of your needs, you are given a monthly “budget” from the VA to pay for personal care, in-home support and other goods and services not covered by your VA benefit that you need. Your designated SAIL advocate will help you design a budget and submit it to the VA for approval. Based on your physician’s assessment of your needs, Community Connections will receive authorization from the VA to provide a specified number of hours to provide you with personal care and or respite care.
You may appoint a designee (such as your spouse, grown child or friend) to manage your budget from the VA if you feel you are not able to manage your own care. Community Connections will work with you or your Power of Attorney to schedule your approved hours to meet your needs.
You (or your designee) hire, train and dismiss your workers. Community Connections provides trained caregivers and manages all aspects of their employment.
You (or your designee) hire whomever you would like to provide your care (including your spouse, children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends). Anyone, other than your designee, who is eligible to work in Alaska, can work for you. Community Connections hires employees who provide you care; they are not able to hire your family members to provide your care. However, they strive to match you with care providers you are happy with.
You (or your designee) sign your workers' timesheets and submit them to be paid. Community Connections submits the staff timesheet for them to be paid.
Your workers can perform whatever tasks you mutually agree upon based on your initial assessment which measures your Activities of Daily Living needs. Your workers can perform many tasks related to your independent living. The tasks you receive are approved by the VA.
You (or your designee) should hire back-up employees to provide care for you in the event that your workers are sick or on vacation. Community Connections arranges for staff to provide your services.
You may use any amount of your budget from the VA for other pre-approved expenses such as home or vehicle modifications and other approved expenses related to your in-home care that are not already covered by the VA. Also, your VA health insurance typically covers durable medical equipment, catheter supplies, incontinence supplies, bedside commodes, lifts, etc. with a prescription from your doctor. Your VA health insurance typically covers durable medical equipment, catheter supplies, incontinence supplies, bedside commodes, lifts, etc. with a prescription from your doctor.

Learn more about SAIL on their website, and contact their Ketchikan office at (907) 225-4735

Contact Community Connections at (907) 225-7825.

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