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Veteran Caregivers: Many resources available to you

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Dear Veterans: You have done so much to serve us, let us serve you!

AARP Michigan will run a regular feature on this web page about programs, services and benefits available to veterans.

And while you’re here, check out the new AARP website on resources for Veterans: www.aarp.org/veterans 

This entry in the Military Monday series will address resources for veteran caregivers.

Since AARP’s founding president, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, took a personal tour of Washington, DC’s Mt. Alto VA Hospital in 1959, we have recognized the special challenges faced by military and veteran caregivers. Today, we are a proud member of the National Coalition for Military Caregivers, a broad coalition of leading public, private, nonprofit, labor and faith organizations being assembled by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to address the gaps in support for military and veteran caregivers. In addition to AARP’s growing support efforts on behalf of family care givers, we are offering here a summary of Department Of Veterans’ Affairs Caregiver Services.

 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Links

Here's the link to the Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes Report:

http://www.elizabethdolefoundation.org/why-we-help/hidden-heroes-report/

Here's the link to a piece on Elizabeth Dole and Pastor Joel Osteen:

http://www.elizabethdolefoundation.org/pastor-joel-osteen-joins-senator-elizabeth-dole-hidden-heroes-focus-faith-reception-inspire-bipartisan-interfaith-cooperation/

 

VA’s Caregiver Support Line

VA's Caregiver Support Line is 1-855-260-3274. Whether you're in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the licensed professionals who answer the support line can:

  •  Tell you about the assistance available from VA.
  • Help you access services.
  • Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.
  • Just listen, if that's what you need right now.

  Caregiver Support Coordinator

Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator is a licensed professional who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible, and providing you with valuable information about resources that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love. Find your local Caregiver Support Coordinator by visiting our Help Near Home page and entering your zip code.

 

Peer Support for Caregivers

VA has developed a Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program to connect Caregivers to one another, to provide support, and to learn from each other. Peer Support Mentoring provides an opportunity for Caregivers to share their experience, wisdom, skills and passion with each other and benefit from the guidance of others. Mentors and Mentees communicate using email, telephone, and letter writing depending on what works best for both of them. To learn more, please contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator who can be located by using the zip code look-up at the VA caregiver website www.caregiver.va.gov

 

Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Centers

ADHC Centers are a safe and active environment with constant supervision designed for Veterans to get out of the home and participate in activities. It is a time for the Veteran you care for to socialize with other Veterans while you, the Family Caregiver, get some time for yourself. ADHC Centers employ caring professionals who will assess a Veteran's rehabilitation needs and help a Veteran accomplish various tasks so he or she can maintain or regain personal independence and dignity.

 

Home-Based Primary Care and the Skilled Home Medical Care Service

Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) and the Skilled Home Care Service are programs that provide a medical professional who comes to your home to help care for a homebound Veteran. Some of the care a Veteran can receive includes basic nursing services and physical, occupational, or speech therapies. To be eligible for these services, a Veteran must be homebound, which means he or she has difficulty traveling to and from appointments and so is in need of receiving medical services at home.

 

Homemaker and Home Health Aide Program

Feeding and bathing another person can be very stressful, physically tasking, and time-consuming for you. Often times, taking care of a Veteran's needs leaves no time for you to take care of your own needs. The Homemaker and Home Health Aide Program is designed to help a Veteran with personal care needs.

 

Home Telehealth

The Home Telehealth program is designed to give you ready access to a care coordinator by using technology (e.g., telephone, computers) in your home. The Home Telehealth program enhances and extends care management to you, the Family Caregiver. The program is typically offered to individuals who live at a distance from a VA Medical Center.

 

Respite Care

If a Veteran requires a Caregiver, you are eligible to receive up to 30 days of respite care per year. The care can be offered in a variety of settings including at your home or through temporary placement of a Veteran at a VA Community Living Center, a VA-contracted Community Residential Care Facility, or an Adult Day Health Care Center. Respite care may also be provided in response to a Family Caregiver's unexpected hospitalization, a need to go out of town, or a family emergency.

 

Home Hospice Care

During the advanced stages of a terminal disease, Home Hospice Care can offer comfort and supportive services for you and the Veteran you care for in your own home. An interdisciplinary team of health care providers and volunteers from a local community hospice agency provide the services. The team is there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week

 

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