Now, keep up to date
with daily feeds of newly posted stories
about America's Seniors...click on the box
celebrates National Family Caregiver Month
WASHINGTON (Nov. 8, 2010)- The Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) is marking National Family
Caregiver Month by honoring the service of
family members and friends who have
dedicated their lives to caring for
chronically ill, injured, or disabled
"Caregivers are the family members and loved ones who take
care of the severely injured Veterans who
need assistance on a daily basis," said VA
Secretary Eric K. Shinseki.
"These mothers, wives, fathers, husbands and other loved
ones make tremendous sacrifices to be there
every day for the Veterans who served this
Nation. They are our partners in Veteran
health care and they deserve our support."
November is National Family Caregivers Month, and VA
medical centers nationwide will offer
locally sponsored events for caregivers.
Because caregivers often experience stress, burnout, or
feel overwhelmed by the caregiving
experience, planned activities will provide
useful information about VA and community
resources that offer support and assistance
to caregivers and Veterans.
Caregivers provide a valuable service to Veterans by
assisting them beyond the walls of VA
medical facilities with support such as
accessing the health care system, providing
emotional and physical support, and allowing
injured Veterans to stay in their homes
rather than living their lives in an
Caregivers help Veterans maintain a better quality of life
and gain more independence.
As the Veteran population ages and continues to increase,
the role of caregivers as partners in
supporting Veterans is even more prevalent.
The Veteran population aged 65 and older is
expected to increase from 37.4 percent to
44.8 percent by the year 2020.
VA is also treating a new era of younger, severely injured
Servicemembers. Many Veterans from Iraq and
Afghanistan will need lifetime care. VA
recognizes the support of their caregivers
is vital for these Veterans.
The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of
2010 allows VA to care for those who provide
supplemental help to family caregivers of
the most severely wounded veterans returning
from Iraq and Afghanistan.
VA has been consulting with Veterans organizations, as well
as individual Veterans and their family
members, to ensure these new programs are
implemented to provide the best possible
support for those who have sacrificed so
These benefits will add to the wide range of compassionate
and practical programs for Veteran
caregivers that are already available from
o In-Home and Community Based Care: This includes
skilled home health care, homemaker home
health aide services, community adult day
health care and home based primary care.
o Respite care: Designed to temporarily relieve the
family caregiver from caring for a
chronically ill, injured or disabled Veteran
at home, respite services can include
in-home care, a short stay in a VA community
living center or other institutional setting
or adult day health care.
o Caregiver education and training programs: VA
provides multiple training opportunities
which include pre-discharge care instruction
and specialized caregiver programs such as
polytrauma and traumatic brain injury,
spinal cord injury/disorders, and blind
rehabilitation. VA has a caregiver
assistance healthy living center Web page on
www.myhealth.va.gov, as well as
caregiver information on the VA's main Web
page health site; both Websites include
information on VA and community resources
and caregiver health and wellness.
o Family support services: These support services
can be face to face or on the telephone.
They include family counseling, spiritual
and pastoral care. Polytrauma Centers also
offer family leisure and recreational
activities and temporary lodging in Fisher
o Other benefits: VA provides durable medical
equipment and prosthetic and sensory aides
to improve function, financial assistance
with home modification to improve access and
mobility, and transportation assistance for
some Veterans to and from medical
Caregivers should contact their nearest VA medical center
for caregiver activities in the local area.
Facility locators and contact information
can be found at