Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) - VA Caregiver Support Program
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VA Caregiver Support Program

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Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS)



The Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) provides resources, education and support to caregivers of Veterans. The Veteran does not need to have a service-connected condition, for which the caregiver is needed, and may have served during any era.

Caregivers who enroll in PGCSS have access to:

 Steps for Enrollment - no formal application is required to enroll in PGCSS

- Contact the VA Caregiver Support Line (CSL) 1-855-260-3274 for a referral or your local VAMC CSP team directly.
- Complete a brief intake process.
- Caregivers can find their local VAMC CSP team for enrollment by using this locator tool.
- CSL can also assist with PGCSS enrollment at 1-855-260-3274 (Toll Free Monday– Friday 8am to 10pm EST & Saturdays 8am-5pm.)
- If eligible, enroll in services that meet your needs.

Caregiver Education and Training Programs 

Annie Caregiver Text Program

Annie is text messaging service that promotes self-care for Veterans enrolled in VA health care, as well as for caregivers. Annie sends stress management tips via text messaging to caregivers, three times per week. Messages may be educational, motivational or an activity to manage stress. You may pause or stop the service at any time.  Annie Caregiver Text Support  - Caregivers need a phone capable of text messaging to enroll.

Building Better Caregivers (BBC)

Building Better Caregivers is an on-line six (6) week workshop. Building Better Caregivers helps caregivers in two key ways: training in how to provide better care, and helping caregivers learn how to manage their own emotions, stress and physical health. After the six (6) week workshop, you can stay connected to other caregivers through the alumni community. This service is free and secure. Connect with other caregivers today!  Learn more about - Building Better Caregivers™ (pdf).

Caregiver Self-Care Courses

Caregiver Self-Care courses are in-person courses at local VA medical centers (VAMCs) that include classroom trainings provided to caregivers with a focus on supporting and meeting the needs of caregivers. The classes are led by trained facilitators and are offered in English and Spanish. Topics include: Managing Stress, Problem Solving & Effective Communication, Taking Care of Yourself, and Utilizing Technology.

VA Caregiver Support Line (CSL)

Get support from a caring, licensed professional by calling 1-855-260-3274, (Toll Free Monday– Friday 8am to 10pm EST & Saturdays 8am-5pm.) Learn about support available from VA and in the community, get connected to your VAMC CSP team, or sign up for monthly telephone-based group sessions. Learn more about VA's National Caregiver Support Line.

Join the monthly groups from the comfort of your own home or review the transcript/presentation at your convenience if you miss the live session. These presentations provide self-care tips on a range of topics and allow time for comments and questions.

General Telephone Support

General Telephone Support is an evidenced-based intervention that is delivered by a VA clinical staff to provide group sessions to stressed and burdened caregivers. The group sessions can be delivered either face-to-face at the VA or by telephone. Topics include: Caregivers of all Era’s, Post-911 Spouses, Dementia, Spinal Cord Injury, ALS, MS and PTSD. These are coordinated and facilitated at local VA medical centers.

Peer Support Mentoring Program

The Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program provides an opportunity for caregivers to receive guidance and to share their experiences, wisdom, skills and passion with other caregivers. The program was developed to strengthen relationships between caregivers, provide an opportunity for networking, and empower caregivers to help one another. Caregivers are matched together and talk regularly to provide support using email, telephone, face to face meetings and letter writing. Learn more about VA's Peer Support Mentoring Program

If you would like to participate, please contact your Caregiver Support Coordinator. Listen to a caregiver share their journey, be inspired and reassured that you are not alone!

Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health (REACH) VA

Connect with a coach who will provide you with a workbook and help you with a variety of issues caregivers face. They will coach you in stress management, problem solving, self-care and healthy behaviors, as well as, Veteran safety, behaviors, problems or concerns linked to a diagnosis. Your assigned coach will call you for a total of four sessions, over a two to three-month period.  Learn more about the REACH VA Program.

Suicide Prevention Toolkit for Caregivers

This toolkit provides education to caregivers of Veterans, including facts about suicide prevention, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment. In addition, it provides self-care resources and describes when to reach out for help.

VA Video Connect (VVC)

VA Video Connect is a VA application that allows Veterans and caregivers to meet face to face with VA healthcare providers, in Virtual Medical Rooms. The application uses encrypted video that is secure and private. VVC provides a flexible option for meeting with providers and Caregiver Support Coordinators. It’s time-efficient and convenient. To learn more, contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator.

Videos

• Office of Rural Health Dementia Series offers a two-series education video for caregivers of Veterans diagnosed with dementia. Visit CSP Tips and Tools webpage to learn more.
• Financial management videos assist caregivers with budgeting and planning. Videos can be found on CSP Caring for Your Finances webpage.

Self-guided material

Self-guided material is available on CSP Tips and Tools webpage including:
• Managing medicines
• Talking with your provider
• Caring for oneself
• Caring for your finances
• Plan ahead for disasters
• Emergency preparedness

Home and Community Based Care

Below are home and community-based services available through VA to support eligible Veterans and their caregivers. Caregivers who are interested in learning about these services should contact their local CSC for more information.

Caregivers can also learn more about the following options on the VA In-Home and Services webpage:
• Respite care
• Home telehealth
• Home-based primary care
• Homemaker and home health aides
• Adult day health care centers
• Remote monitoring care
• Skilled home care
• Home hospice care

Need Help?

Your local 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 that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love.

Call VA’s Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 to learn more about the support that is available to you and for assistance connecting with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center.  We’re here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

*Be sure to check back for updates or subscribe to receive email updates and information about VA Caregiver Support Program services.

Caregiver Support Program (CSP) - Menu of Resources