One of the most heart-warming long-term care stories of the last week came from a somewhat unlikely source. For a variety of reasons, state veterans homes just don’t typically seem to warm the hearts of those not directly involved.

But this week, there was good news about them. We’re talking specifically about new and/or upgraded facilities.

As our report noted, this could represent a “renaissance of sorts for state-run homes.” Several states are in various stages of adding or improving nursing home options for former service members and their spouses.

Bravo, to Pennsylvania, Florida, Kentucky and Wyoming. They aren’t the only ones, but they are recent examples. They, just as the rest of the “civilian” country should have been seeing already, have recognized a need for their aging veterans. This is all in addition to state Medicaid concerns, of course.

The federal Veterans Administration also is taking part in this mini-wave. A VA spokesman told McKnight’s this week there are plans for new facilities in Atlanta and West Virginia, for example.

Anything that would add to the capacity of the 162 homes currently run by the states would be welcome news. All told, they currently comprise about 30,000 beds. 

That’s not nearly enough, of course. And the heck of it is, the new additions will not be anywhere near enough, either. But it’s a start and a bid to keep progress flowing.

Just as general long-term care society is simultaneously grappling with shrinking workforces and soaring clientele pools, so must the VA — only with less diverse resources.

That’s why it’s so encouraging to see any strides to take care of our vets headed in the right direction. Because even if there hasn’t lately been the carnage of a World War, or something like Korea or Vietnam, we are ensured of a big wave of aging vets. Ironically, that’s a very good “problem” to have. Even if it’s tempered a bit if you’re struggling to figure out how to serve that booming aging clientele.

Kudos to those trying to do so — and putting their money where their mouths are.

James M. Berklan is McKnight’s Executive Editor.

Opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News columns are not necessarily those of McKnight’s.