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VA Caregiver Support

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Care for the Caregiver

As a Caregiver, the very best thing you can do for those who depend on you is to take care of yourself. VA’s Caregiver Support Line offers monthly telephone education groups for Caregivers. During these calls, Caregivers will receive self-care tips and support on a variety of topics. Participants will also have the opportunity to comment and ask questions at the end of each call.

In order to participate, you must be a Caregiver of a Veteran(s) of any era who is receiving VA care. Veterans engaged in VA care who are caring for a loved one are also eligible. Registration is required. Interested Caregivers should contact their local Caregiver Support Coordinator to learn more and begin the registration process.

Featured Presentations

All Caregivers are invited to listen to an audio recording of the following presentations.

Handouts on additional self-care topics are also available.

Relaxation Exercises
Taking time out to focus on self-care is not easy, but it is so important. Just a few minutes a day to participate in a relaxation activity can help caregivers feel restored and rejuvenated. We invite you to take just a few minutes out of your busy schedules to focus on relaxing your mind and your body. Select a link below, then sit back, relax, and let a Caregiver Support Line social worker guide you through a brief activity to help restore your balance. .

We Serve All Who Serve: Recognizing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Veterans and their Caregivers
This presentation focuses attention on the unique experience and challenges of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Veterans and their LGBT Caregivers. We will explore the history of discrimination on the LGBT community, including the resulting vulnerabilities, and the resilient strengths and resiliencies that many LGBT individuals have developed. Finally, we will identify strategies to assure that LGBT Veterans and their Caregivers are equipped with knowledge of their current rights, and provide tools to negotiate future challenges.

Vital Connections: Restoring Balance in the Most Challenging Times
It is so easy to lose sight of one’s own self while caring for others. Caregivers spend so much time in ‘survival mode;’ moving through the day to day tasks simply feeling as though treading water. This group looks at what happens when Caregivers lose touch with the vital connections that foster resiliency and how to reconnect everyday with something that brings serenity. Meditation exercises are incorporated to help participants learn to slow down, fully identify, experience and except a range of feelings, and identify the connections that are most important to each individual.

Standing on Solid Ground: Finding Your Path along the Challenging Road of Caregiving and Mental Illness
Those diagnosed with mental illness and those caring for individuals with mental illness not only encounter the effects of the illness, but also experience the equally burdensome weight of its stigma. This group discusses the challenges Caregivers encounter when caring for a loved one with mental illness and how these unique challenges may affect the Caregiver. Tools are identified that can assist in remaining grounded so that Caregivers are able to manage challenges and identify strategies to help maintain ones’ footing while coping with the unique demands these illnesses present.

Stepping into Stillness: Maintaining Your Center of Gravity When Caring for a Loved One with Complex Medical Needs
Caregivers often suffer the silent symptoms of a loved one’s illness and it is important to shed light on the toll this takes on the Caregiver. This group examines the idea of attention to oneself and finding a place of stillness despite the daily challenges of caring for a loved one with medical needs. An exercise is used to help identify the benefits and the sense of balance or equilibrium that can be found when achieving a sense of stillness.

Tempering the Tyrant: Finding Anger’s Rightful Place
The ability to recognize and manage feelings of anger is important for all human beings but especially important for Caregivers who struggle to balance caring for their own needs while also caring for another. Angry feelings, like any other feeling, arise as the direct result of one’s needs being met or not met, or when one’s safety or boundaries have been threatened. Recognizing anger as a simple, understandable human emotional response or warning sign is the first important step towards self-care. This group helps participants identify the signs of anger, how it may be expressed, and provides tools that will assist in communicating feelings in a constructive manner.

Presentation Spotlight

Understanding Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence for Caregivers
Presented by Jennifer Broomfield, LISW, JD, this session will help Veterans’ Caregivers understand and define “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence,” as well as how to access resources for themselves or family and friends affected.

Please note: caregivers accessing MyVeU for the first time will need to register.