Critter Corner: Veteran Caregiver Assistance Programs You Might Not Know About

Dear Raider,

Welcome to the Critter Corner team! My father is a Vietnam Veteran, and my husband and I care for him in our home. I am wondering what caregiver assistance programs are available to help with caring for my dad and providing respite for us, and if there is someone who can help us navigate the process.

Also, since you’re so new, where can I learn more about you?

Thanks for your help!

Karin Foravett

Dear Karin,

Thanks for the warm welcome and Happy Veterans Day! If you’d like to learn a bit more about me, you can read my bio here.

Your local VA Caregiver Support Coordinator is a licensed professional who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible and providing you with valuable information about resources available as you care for your dad. Find your local VA Caregiver Support Coordinator here. The Caregiver Support Coordinator can assist you with any of the programs or services listed below:

  • Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) delivers routine health care in your home when medical issues make it challenging for a veteran to travel. This service can also include physical rehabilitation, mental health care for your father, social work, and referrals to the VA and community services.
  • Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care: This program provides in-home care to veterans with personal care needs on a routine schedule. It is arranged by the local VA medical center.
  • Skilled Home Health Care: This service provides medical care for homebound veterans. The Skilled Home Health Care service is similar to Home-Based Primary Care but involves VA purchasing care for a Veteran from a licensed non-VA medical professional.
  • Remote Monitoring Care: Designed for veterans who live far away from a VA medical center, the Remote Monitoring program connects them with a care coordinator through technology (e.g., telephone, computers). These services may also include education and training or online and telephone-based support groups.
  • Respite Care: Respite care is an occasional way to take a break from your caregiving duties and relax, renew your energy, and avoid caregiver burnout. Veterans who require a caregiver may be eligible for up to 30 days of respite care each year. This care can be offered in your home, at a VA community living center, at a VA-contracted community residential care facility, or at an adult day health care center.
  • Adult Day Health Care Centers are a safe and active environment with constant supervision designed for veterans to get out of the house and participate in activities.
  • Home Hospice Care: During the advanced stages of a terminal disease, Home Hospice Care can offer comfort and supportive services for you and your father in your home. A team of health care providers and volunteers from a local community hospice agency is there for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Grief counseling is also available for you and other immediate family members.

If your father needs assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) in the home, such as bathing, dressing, toileting, and more, or is considering moving into an Assisted Living Facility or Continuing Care Retirement Community, he might qualify for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Special Pension Benefit or the Veterans Housebound Special Pension Benefit. Learn more here.

Several programs also offer enhanced clinical support for eligible family caregivers of eligible veterans. Read more about these programs in today’s “Ask the Expert “article.

Caregiver Support Line Can Help!

The VA’s trained professionals can also help you find the services and support that are right for you and your father. The VA’s Caregiver Support Line can be reached at 1-855-260-3274. Whether you’re in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services your father may be eligible for, the caring licensed professionals who answer the support line can:

  • tell you about the assistance available from VA;
  • help you access services;
  • connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you;
  • just listen, if that’s what you need right now!

Hope this is helpful!


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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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