Our Association is asking caregivers (spouse, parent, brother/sister, relative, friend, or neighbor) for your best tips. As you know, knowledge is a powerful guide especially that gained from real-life experiences of someone who has already walked the road to recovery.
Please take our survey and share your wisdom. What was most helpful? What advice do you want to share? What would you avoid? You’re the expert - your recommendations can empower other caregivers and their families!
The role of the Caregiver, the spouse, parent or family member who cares for and supports the wounded, ill or injured service member is an important one. Our Association has regularly said, “Behind every wounded service member is a wounded family.” Caregivers need support as well. Recently, programs and initiatives have been established to help the caregivers help the service member. Many are listed below. You can call the VA Caregiver Support Line at 855.260.3274 to talk to someone about other programs.
DoD Caregiver Benefit
In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed legislation entitled Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL). A Department of Defense (DoD) program, the SCAADL provides a special monthly stipend for service members who have a permanent catastrophic injury or illness. To determine if you are eligible, learn more about this new benefit, and how to apply, go to www.warriorcare.mil, call 571.256.4516, or email email@example.com.
VA Caregiver Benefit
In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed legislation providing a new Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Caregiver program. The law provides for a variety of benefits and access to services and programs to assist caregivers in providing care to their wounded veteran. Caregiver benefits are determined by the eligibility of the veteran and caregiver. To determine if you are eligible, learn more about this new benefit, and how to apply, go to: www.caregiver.va.gov/ or contact the VA’s Caregiver Support Line at 855.260.3274.
Home Respite Volunteer
The VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) and the Office of Care Coordination (OCC) have joined together to form the Caregiver Support Network. The program is designed to help volunteers provide compassionate support to those caregivers who care for our Nation’s veterans who are home bound. The role of the Home Respite Volunteer is to help assist veteran care recipients, their primary caregivers, and their family in dealing with daily challenges. Each volunteer will undergo a complete background check before becoming a volunteer. The volunteer lives in your local community and will provide up to 8 hours per week of free respite care for primary caregivers.
The VA has established twelve pilot sites across the U.S:
- Augusta, GA - 706.731.7208
- Baltimore, MD - 410.605.7000 ext. 7102
- Lexington, KY - 859.233.4511 ext. 3564
- Los Angeles, CA - 310.268.3048
- Minneapolis, MN - 612.725.2050 ext. 3203
- Richmond, VA - 804.675.5107
- San Francisco, CA - 415.221.4810 ext.6331
- Seattle, WA - 206.277.3884
- St. Louis, MO - 314.289.6530
- Syracuse, NY - 315.425.4315
- Temple, TX - 254.743.0740
- Tucson, AZ - 520.792.1450 ext.6020
For additional information on the program, visit Tucson’s VA description at: www.tucson.va.gov/giving/respite.asp. For more information on the VA Caregiver Support Network, go to: www.caregiversupportnetwork.com.
Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans
The DoD Force Health Protection and Readiness Council approved the Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Caregivers of Service Members and Veterans. The curriculum is used in training family members providing care and assistance to members and former members of the Armed Forces with traumatic brain injury. The curriculum is divided into four Modules. Module I provides details of the brain’s anatomy. Module II provides the location of the injury along with the corresponding signs and symptoms. Module III helps the caregiver, provides advocacy information, and gives guidance on ways to support the children. Module IV provides a list of DoD and VA services and benefits. The curriculum also includes a Caregiver’s Companion packet.
The caregiver curriculum is available through the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) under “Family and Friends.” It is also available on the website, www.traumaticbraininjuryatoz.org. To access, click on the “Caregiver’s Journey” and then, click on the curriculum in the green box on left.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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