Utica, NY (WIBX) - Oneida County is announcing the start of a new pilot program that looks to eliminate the need for assisted living facilities for certain individuals. The Veterans Directive Home and Community Based Services Program, (VDHCBS) is the first of its kind in the State and County Executive Anthony Picente said the program aims to provide healthcare services for Veterans that will allow them to stay in their homes.

He said, "Looking to the Veteran population is this pilot program that we have entered into for those who are at risk of nursing home placement, for services needed so they can stay at home and achieve the independence that they are entitled to." Oneida County Office for the Aging/Office of Continuing Care Director, Michael Romano said if VDHCBS can provide the healthcare services an ailing Vet requires to live independently at home or with a family member, it will improve the quality of life of that individual. He said, "We're realizing that even though we have a whole set of tool bags to help Veterans and their loved ones stay in the community, we need more. We need more and newer options and one of those pilots is this program."

The program will identify at risk Veterans that may be in line for nursing home placement and provide them with home and community based services. The program, which is fully funded by the Veterans Health Care Administration will provide services like case management, transportation, home delivered meals and house keeping services. To find out about eligibility requirements or to learn more about the new pilot program contact Oneida County Office at (315)798-5800 or www.ocgov.net. Also, more information can be found through the Oneida County Office for the Aging/Office of Continuing Care at (315) 798-5456.