VA Connecticut Healthcare System
Caring for the Caregiver
November is National Caregiver Month. This observance acknowledges the key role family caregivers play as part of the health care team. A caregiver is someone who provides personal care service, including assistance with daily activities or supervision to ensure safety. A caregiver can be a spouse, significant other, adult child, parent, family member, or friend.
Caregivers are essential to the health of the patient and VA strongly relies on them to help prevent the placement of veterans in nursing homes or other institutions. VA recognizes that caregivers are individuals with needs, too, and supports efforts to help those who help our veterans. There are several resources available to aid family caregivers, including the Caregiver Support Program. This program provides services and training to caregivers, as well as a monthly stipend. To find out who is eligible for the Caregiver Support Program and how to apply, call the National Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 or contact our local Caregiver Support Coordinator at 203-932-5711 extension 2297.
VA Connecticut recently hosted a Caregiver Support Program Reception to recognize and thank our caregivers. We offer a caregiver support group which will meets monthly at the West Haven campus.
Bonnie Cecarelli, RN, is our Caregiver Support Coordinator. Her duties include assisting with the administrative procedures behind applying for and receiving caregiver benefits, organizing caregiver focused activities and services, collaborating with veteran service organizations, Vet Centers, and community caregiver organizations to ensure caregiver sensitivity is integrated into all VA programs, and serves as a resource for all family caregivers.
For questions or concerns you can also reach Bonnie at email@example.com.