On this "Military Monday" I am excited to bring to you some information about VA Caregiver Support. Its a fairly new thing to come across my "desk" and I was excited about sharing the information with you. Having several Caregivers in my life I have seen the intense effect that the life can take on them. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like. Thankfully, there are so many new programs and groups are taking shape to really drive the education and care concerning the caregivers of our Veterans. While the Elizabeth Dole Foundation really has emerged as a non-profit really revolutionizing how we view and care for caregivers, the VA is also taking a multifaceted approach. And while I haven't done extensive research on their programs I found it interesting enough that I wanted to share with you all.
Please spread this info around. The more hands it is in the more good it has the potential to do. Do you know a Caregiver, encourage her/him, ask how you can best help them, pray for them if you are the praying type. Offer to participate in support activities (like the ones listed below) with them.
November is National Caregiver's Month (as well as National Military Families Month) and in recognition of that the VA Caregiver Support Program is holding meditation calls throughout the month. A social worker will be online four times a day to go through the process with you and other caregivers who call in.
There is also a great series entitled Care for the Caregiver, designed to aide caregivers in establishing tools and strategies to balance the demands of caregiving. This is so exciting as well. From the limited experience I have with the Caregiving community I know their lives are a whirlwind, and can be extremely difficult. I notice an upswing in available programs, research, education and support in this area, even from several years ago. I would be interest to see if what I notice is correct, so please share if you have first hand experience. I wonder if many caregivers have the ability or even the thought process to sit down and participate in these types of things; or if they really are that new that caregivers even from a couple years ago didn't have knowledge or access to these types of things.
I almost wish that military spouses could, and would be encouraged to, participate in things like this. Being prepared for anything would be so beneficial. Granted, you don't know how you will be when you are in the throws of a life-changing event, but at least a little information could go a long way.
For more information on the VA Caregiver Support programs I mentioned here, and others visit the VA's website here. You can also visit the tab up top with compiled information for caregivers and families of the wounded.