YOU ARE NOT ALONE LOVED ONES/CAREGIVERS of OUR AWESOME VETERANS….and yes, you are heroes too…
Finally, after months of stalling Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 was passed by Congress and then signed by President Obama, recognizing that the government saves millions not having to hospitalize our veterans when there is a caregiver ( spouse, sibling, relative) willing to care for their emotional and phsyical needs and help them access treatment when necessary. Most of all, as a medical professional myself, the data is clear. We heal better at home surrounded by support no matter how good inpatient care is in a hospital. Many of you who advocate like we do at Homefront Hugs for our veterans and the best of care they have earned made this happen. THANK YOU. Now we just need to make sure that all that was promised in the Caregiver Act actually happens. One must also sadly accept that for many veterans from other wars, this law does NOT appply. The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 only applies to POST- 911 veterans. Since my former husband Steve,served in the Gulf War his sacrifices would not apply, nor would millions of veterans from the Korean, Vietnam, and World Wars benefit.
Please read below and then visit their page listed under government benefits to see if you, as a caregiver,are eligible:
We thank you in advance for your dedication and love of our veterans. our heroes. when they come home needing emotional and/or phsyical support. Being a caregiver makes you a hero as well.
President and Founder
Homefront Hugs USA
Although, the Cargiver Act was passed to deal with the enourmous amount of care needed for veterans coming home from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, our vets from other wars could have used these services and deserve them just as much. Nevertheless, this act can help many of you dealing with PTSD, any other mental or physical health challenges:
Veterans or military families can download a copy of the Family Caregiver program application (VA CG 10-10) at www.caregiver.va.gov. The application enables the Veteran to designate a primary Family Caregiver and even secondary Family Caregivers if needed. Think of respite care, when the primary caregiver needs a break or is ill. Caregiver Support Coordinators are available at every VA medical center and via phone at 1-877-222 VETS (8387) to help you with the application process. Benefits can includes a stipend, mental health services, and access to health care insurance, if the caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under another health care plan. Caregiver training is also provided especially so that caregivers understand how best to advocate and access services for the veteran in need.
According to the VA, programs for Veterans and their Family Caregivers includes:
- In-Home and Community Based Care: skilled home health care, homemaker home health aide services, community adult day health care and home based Primary Care.
- Respite Care: Designed to relieve the caregiver from the constant challenge of caring for a chronically ill or disabled Veteran at home. Respite can include in-home care, a short stay in one of VA’s community living centers or adult day health care.
- Caregiver Education and Training Programs: training opportunities which include pre-discharge care instructions, specialized caregiver programs to include Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Spinal Cord Injury/Disorders, and Blind Rehabilitation.
- Caregiver Support Groups: support groups, offered in a face to face setting or by telephone providing a sense of community and reminding caregivers they are not alone. Caregivers can support each other and receive counseling, spiritual/ pastoral care, family recreational activities and temporary lodging in Fisher Houses. Fisher House is an amazing organization we support here at Homefront Hugs and encourage you to donate to their efforts when you can. They have offered relief and support to caregivers and families while a loved one is hospitalized for decades since 1990. We support their love and support of our military families and recognizing that families are the best medicine.
- Other Services: durable medical equipment,prosthetic and sensory aides, financial assistance with home modification to improve access and mobility, and transportation assistance for Veterans to and from medical appointments when needed.
- Some wonderful links for caregivers: Caregiver Toolbox,
- Other issues that can exist with our veterans with PTSD/physical challenges : Depression, Grief ( not a disorder but due to losing loved ones in war or at home), Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social Phobia,Anxiety Disorder,Borderline Personality Disorder, Domestic Abuse to include of caregiver, Child Abuse and Neglect — –> Know the numbers to call if abuse is happening so both you as the caregiver and your veteran can get help. Know the signs. Being a hero means knowing when to ask for help because you can’t do it all alone.
- Support Groups and Associations:
- Caregiving from a Distance:An organization for long-distance caregivers.Children of Aging Parents (CAPS):The CAPS site provides information to children caring for elderly parents.Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA): This site provides information on services, research and advocacy for families caring for loved ones with chronic health conditions.
The National Center for PTSD: The National Center for PTSD helps U.S. Veterans and others through research, education, and training on trauma and PTSD.
National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA): This site provides education and support for those caring for relatives with chronic illnesses or disability.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): This site provides information on mental illnesses including depression, anxiety and PTSD.
National Center for PTSD Provides information and education on different types of trauma: war, terrorism,violence and abuse, and disasters.
Fisher Houses A Fisher House is a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. Fisher House is also a proud partner of “Hero Miles” a program that provides airline tickets to hospitalized service members and their families and supports the respite needs of Veterans and their identified Family Caregiver.