VA Connecticut Healthcare System
VA joins nation in saluting caregivers
VA Connecticut joins the nation in honoring the women and men who are the unsung heroes in health care - family members, friends and partners who serve as caregivers.
November is National Caregiver Month. According to the National Caregiver Association, "Day in and day out, more than 65 million family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role on the care team. No one else is in a better position to ensure continuity of care. Family caregivers are the most familiar with their care recipients' medicine regimen; they are the most knowledgeable about the treatment regimen; and they understand best the dietary and exercise regimen. "
At VA Connecticut, we want our family caregivers to know that you don’t have to go it alone. The Department of Veterans Affairs has programs in place to assist you as you care for your loved ones. VA provides support and assistance through a variety of programs such as care management, social work service, care coordination, geriatrics and extended care, and through its nationwide volunteer programs.
Among the key services provided to caregivers are respite care, case management and service coordination, assistance with personal care (bathing and grooming), social and emotional support and home safety evaluations.
In addition to the usual social work services provided to veterans’ families the following programs are currently in place at VA Connecticut:
- Respite Program provides up to 30-days per year respite stay for veterans which provides the caregiver "respite".
- Self directed care program for veterans who are 70-100 percent service-connected. A VA social worker will refer you to the local Area on Aging (AOA). The AOA will then provide a caregiver in the veteran’s home (paid by the VA and AOA).
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) has a bowel/bladder program for caregivers that offers reimbursement for the care of neurogenic bowel and bladder issues. Caregiver must be “certified” by a VA SCI nurse and submit paperwork for reimbursement for straight cathing patients.
- VA has a collaboration with Area on Aging (VA self directed care program); eligible veterans receive assistance in their homes for activities of daily living (ADL’s).
- Adult Day Care (ADC) services in the community for eligible veterans.
- In the coming year there will be an Anticipated Grief Support Group run by a social worker and social work intern.
For more information, contact VA Connecticut’s Social Work Service at 203-932-5711 extension 3754. You can find caregiver information for specific medical conditions at VA’s My Healthy Vet site at www.myhealthevet.va.gov.