National Politics

EXCHANGE: Facility offer veterans free, discounted services

Jill Smith, administrator for Resthave Nursing Home in Morrison, Ill., said that depending on their level of service, the VA will cover veterans' whole stay at Resthave.
Jill Smith, administrator for Resthave Nursing Home in Morrison, Ill., said that depending on their level of service, the VA will cover veterans' whole stay at Resthave. Alex T. Paschal

Sauk Valley veterans now have a closer option for recommended nursing home care.

Resthave Home in Morrison recently received a certification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer free or discounted services, including stays, for veterans.

Veterans who are at 70% service disability rating level, and meet a certain criteria can have their nursing home stay covered in full. Those at 60% can be covered in full if they went on hospice care.

"Depending on their level of service, the VA will cover their whole stay," Resthave Nursing Administrator Jill Smith said. "The VA pays us a per diem rate that covers everything, their care and services while they are here."

Resthave was recommended for certification to the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Health Care System by Charisse Jesiolowski, a social worker with the Sterling Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic. The Sterling clinic has made referrals to other VA-certified homes in Freeport and Moline, but now can suggest Resthave as a closer alternative to local veterans needing care.

Resthave Marketing Director Karla Burn had been exploring this possibility for nearly a decade.

"It's an honor for us to be able to serve our veterans and for the VA to recognize us as a quality home and want their veterans here," she said.

Getting the certification was a result of a rigorous application process, inspections and surveys, Smith said. Resthave is learning additional details over time about the benefits now that it's earned the certification.

Burn accompanied the VA's facility tour in September.

"When they came for the tour, that's basically what they told us; (they saw) this as a quality home and they want our veterans in quality facilities," Burn said. "When they said that, it's something to be proud of."

Resthave puts on special events during Veterans Day and the Fourth of July to honor its veterans. With the potential to have more veterans, a long-awaited idea of a wall of fame can become a reality, Burn said.

"We can put the pictures and what the service was for all of our veterans along the walls of our building," Burn said.

The home's veterans also will be honored during a "Salute the Veterans Day" on June 28.

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Source: Sauk Valley Media, https://bit.ly/2JmUGFo

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Information from: Sauk Valley Media, http://www.saukvalley.com

This is an AP-Illinois Exchange story offered by the Sauk Valley Media.

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