PHOENIX — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) State Home Construction Grant Program has approved construction costs for 80-bed skilled-nursing veteran homes in Flagstaff and Yuma. The new Arizona State Veteran Homes will hold four 16-bed long-term care units and one memory care unit. This grant will fund 65 percent of the construction costs.
“Since 2015, we’ve put Arizona’s veterans first, securing $19.2 million in matching state funds for additional State Veteran Homes,” Governor Doug Ducey says. “Now both homes will serve veterans and their families in rural areas and bring new jobs to each city.”
The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services (ADVS) will hire 250 employees to staff the homes, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, dietitians and aides, housekeeping and administrative services. The staff will provide 24/7 skilled-nursing care for geriatric and chronically-ill veterans, dependents, and surviving spouses. Care includes respiratory therapy, rehabilitative work, therapeutic recreation, exercise classes, and physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
“Wherever veterans live, they deserve our services,” Retired Air Force Col. Wanda Wright, ADVS Director, says. “39 percent of veterans in the Flagstaff area and 24 percent of veterans in the Yuma area are over age 65. These numbers don’t even include the many other veterans who live in rural areas. Now we can serve them as close to their homes, families and friends as possible. This helps families save on travel costs and helps veterans thrive.”
Each home will be approximately 80,000 square feet, on ten acres of land donated by their respective city. The southwestern-themed homes will offer services and amenities similar to those at the current Arizona State Veteran Homes in Phoenix and Tucson, like housekeeping, laundry services, a meditation room, a gift shop, a barber/beauty shop and more. Veteran Benefits Counselors will be available to assist residents in obtaining their federal and state benefits. Social services will also provide support for residents and their families. Each resident room is furnished and private.
Construction could begin as early as within the next eight to ten months and will take 18 months to two years for to complete.
In November, Governor Ducey sent a letter to then-VA Secretary David Shulkin asking him to prioritize the construction of the Arizona State Veteran Homes. To read that letter, click HERE.