Oregon Veterans' Home Earns National Rating

By Observer Upload March 15, 2013 10:39 am
THE DALLES — The place where honor lives, the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles, was recently named one of the top rated nursing homes in Oregon.

U.S. News & World Report released its fifth annual Best Nursing Homes ratings on February 26, highlighting the top nursing homes in each state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas.  The ratings cover more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide.

"All seniors deserve the best nursing care available, and we've made sure the information they need is at their fingertips with a consumer-friendly tool to help seniors and their families confront one of life's most difficult and anxious transitions," said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings editor. Among several noted points of excellence, the Home met health and safety standards for food preparation and other nursing-home activities.  The inspections are conducted at least every 15 months.

Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Cameron Smith said the Home's outstanding designation reflects credit on both the staff and management.

"Residents at the Oregon Veterans' Home are like family and that's how they're cared for by the excellent staff and volunteers there," Smith said.  "Their approach to care is simple; treat all veterans and their family members with the same care, respect and dignity they would want for their own families.  That entire team earned this national recognition."

Smith also noted that disabled veterans who have been rated with as little as a 10 percent service connected disability may qualify for additional assistance from the VA.

"With a VA physician's certification that nursing home care is needed, due to their service connected disability, a veteran may be eligible to have some or all of their cost of care at the Veterans' Home covered by the VA," he added.

Opened in the fall of 1997, the Home is located just outside the city. The staff is able to care for as many as 151 residents who need long-term care in a care facility that provides skilled nursing, Alzheimer's and dementia-related care, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care to veterans, their spouses and parents who have lost a child to war-time service.

In 2008, the Home was awarded the Step II Award for Quality Achievement from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL).  To date, the Home is one of only 170 care facilities in the nation - and one of only two state veterans' homes - to achieve this level of recognition.

A second veterans' home is scheduled to open in Fall 2014 in Lebanon with an additional 154 beds. To learn more about Oregon Veterans' Homes, visit www.oregon.gov/odva/VetsHome.