Caregiving for a Veteran: Programs Mentioned at WHCOA


Dear Commander Bun Bun,

In Mr. Farr’s recent article on the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA), he talked a lot about caregiving, but didn’t mention anything about veterans, in particular. Can you elaborate on anything discussed at WHCOA that has to do specifically with caregiving and veterans?

Thanks for your help!

Cara Giver-Foravett


Dear Cara,

Thanks for pointing that out! Veteran’s Administration (VA) Secretary, Bob McDonald, took part in the national discussion around aging and shared how the VA supports older veterans at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Below are some key points from his discussion about VA programs, services, and supports that empower veterans to remain healthy, happy and safe as they age:

  • Clinical programs: The Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care offers a continuum of clinical programs that can address the unique health care needs that often accompany aging. These programs are found across all health care settings within the VA (e.g., hospital, outpatient clinic), as well as out in the community and in veterans’ homes.
  • Home and community-based programs, such as Home Based Primary Care, are particularly important for enabling many veterans to remain in their own homes and continue to be around their loved ones. For a complete listing of programs and information on how to decide what programs might be best for you or a loved one, visit
  • Supporting caregivers at home: Caregiver Support Coordinators (CSC) at each VA medical center serve as clinical experts on caregiver issues and are knowledgeable of both VA and non-VA support services and benefits available for older Veterans and their family caregivers. VA has a National VA Caregiver Support Line (CSL) (855-260-3274), which serves as a resource for caregivers of veterans.
  • Monthly Education Calls for Caregivers: Caregivers who are caring for older veterans engaged in VA healthcare are invited to participate in monthly education calls. With an overarching theme of “Care for the Caregiver,” groups are held three times each month, with a different topic of discussion each month.
  • Online Workshop for Caregivers: Building Better Caregivers™ (BBC), a 6 week online workshop, is available to caregivers of older Veterans who have dementia, memory problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, a serious brain injury, or any other serious injury or illness. BBC helps caregivers in two key ways: it offers training in how to provide better care, and helps caregivers learn how to manage their own emotions, stress and physical health. Following the completion of the 6 week workshop, caregivers are invited to join the BBC Alumni Community for on-going support and resources.

To find out more about VA’s Caregiver Support Program or to find the closest Caregiver Support Coordinator, please visit At you will also find a description of more than two dozen programs for all caregivers, training tips, and advice on caregiving, including the importance of taking time to take care of yourself.

Did you know that later this year, all veteran’s benefits will be on one Website? You can read more about this and the Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefit in our recent blog post.

Hop this helps,

Commander Bun Bun



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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.