Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Maryland Health Care System

 

Caregiver Support

VA and Caregivers

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers assistance to caregivers. Caregivers provide a valuable service for Veterans and are "partners" with VA in providing excellent health care. Caregivers allow Veterans to remain in their own home and also play an important role in supporting Veterans who are hospitalized or living outside their home.

What is a Caregiver and Are You One?

Caregivers assist those who are chronically ill, disabled, or are getting older and are no longer able to care for themselves. Caregiving includes helping with personal needs or household chores, as well as managing a person's finances, arranging for outside services, or visiting regularly to see how the individual is doing. Caregivers are generally unpaid family members or friends (though they may be paid professionals) who provide care to their loved one. You do not need to live with a person to be considered a caregiver and many people who serve as a caregiver do not recognize themselves as such – you may simply think you’re "helping out."

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are a caregiver.

  • Do you feel responsible for providing support to a loved one?
  • Do you help out a loved one around the home, with cooking or cleaning, even if only on an occasional basis?
  • Do you take your loved one to run errands and/or escort them to medical appointments?
  • Would your loved one call you in an emergency and expect your prompt assistance?
  • Do you provide support or assistance to a loved one living in long-term care, assisted living, or a residential facility?

Without assistance, caregivers may experience stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, financial challenges, or neglect their personal health. VA is here to help you balance your life and achieve greater personal satisfaction with your role as a caregiver. This website will help you find out more about the assistance VA offers to Caregivers.

 

Sharon Kelly

Who can I contact for assistance?

For information about Caregiver Support throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System, please contact:

Sharon Kelly, LCSW-C
Caregiver Support Coordinator
VA Maryland Health Care System
1-800-463-6295, ext. 7365

Caregivers at a Glance*

  • 54 Million adults in the US provide unpaid care to an adult family member or friend
  • Over two-thirds are women
  • 45% are age 18-49
  • 40% are age 50-64
  • More than half are married
  • Approximately three-fourths have worked while caregiving
  • Over 40% say they did not have a choice in taking on the caregiver role
  • A majority assist their loved one with at least one activity of daily living (usually helping the person in and out or bed and chairs)
  • Over 50% experience medium to high levels of stress as a result of the demands of their role as a caregiver
  • One-quarter say they have a difficult time coordinating care with health care professionals or service providers

*National Alliance for Caregiving and American Association of Retired Persons Survey - 2009

VA Caregiver Support Home

Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274

Caregiver Services

VA offers a number of services that can provide you with the support that's right for you. Whether you and the Veteran you care for could use some help at home or you just need someone to listen, we're here to support you. Follow the link to learn more about the variety of services available to Family Caregivers.

Caring for Seriously Injured Post-9/11 Veterans

Services for Family Caregivers of Post-9/11 Veterans

If you are the Family Caregiver of a Veteran who was injured post-9/11, you may be eligible for additional services through VA, including a stipend, comprehensive training and medical coverage through VA if you are not already covered by a plan. Follow the link to learn more about the services and to see if you are currently eligible.

Find your Caregiver Support Coordinator

Questions?

Have questions about VA Caregiver Support Services? Contact VA's Caregiver Support Line (1-855-260-3274) or your local Caregiver Support Coordinator for assistance.

Contact

Sharon Kelly, LCSW-C
Caregiver Support Coordinator
800-463-6295 Ext. 7365

Sign Up and Stay Informed

Receive regular e-mail updates about VA Caregiver Support.
Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274