BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- It`s a program to help those who fought for our country, that not everyone may know about. The VA's "Medical Foster Homes" program keeps veterans from spending their golden years in a nursing home.
“Before I was in a trailer and I was by myself and that wasn`t good, so this has been better for me,” Bob Bender said.
Bob Bender is one of three veterans who live in the Bella Vista home of sponsors Jan and David Dorsey.
The Dorseys said it's their heart for helping others that led them to the program.
“It`s very rewarding. I`ve gained so much. You know the veterans have so much to offer, their experience and a lifetime of knowledge you know and it`s just wonderful,” Jan Dorsey said.
The Dorseys opened their home to Tom in 2013 after meeting the VA’s requirements and background checks.
“I enjoy it. We try and get out and we take them with us on vacation, take them with us shopping. I enjoy it and I hope the guys enjoy it, but they seem like they enjoy the comradery,” David said.
Joe Depew said he enjoys the freedom of living in the Dorsey`s house instead of a nursing home.
“It`s more like you are at home then you are in a hospital...the atmosphere you aren`t being poked on and prodded on all the time, it`s just like another home,” Depew said.
Dorsey said while it sounds like a lot of work the v-a team is there to help and tom, joe and bob are now like family.
'It`s just a good feeling to know what little way we can help it benefits everybody really because they`ve enriched our lives and my grandchildren. It just works for us,” she said.
The medical foster homes program is still looking for more sponsor homes especially in fort smith. The veterans do pay the caregivers directly for room, board and care. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor you can call Michael Stracener at 479-443-4301 ext. 65128.