Caregiver Resources for Colorado Veterans

Family caregivers of veterans in Colorado may be surprised to discover how many resources there are available exclusively for our nation's veterans. The Veteran's Administration has been working on improving their online resource center http://www.caregiver.va.gov/index.asp to make it easier to connect caregivers with information and assistance. Many caregivers are aware of the Aid & Attendance benefit to help pay for home care, assisted living and nursing care. But this site goes beyond the health care benefits to address the unique needs of caregivers providing caring for a veteran.

One particularly helpful section of the resource center is designed to help all new caregivers, regardless of whether they are caring for a loved one in Larimer County or Weld County. That is the New to Caregiving http://www.caregiver.va.gov/toolbox_new.asp area. The Veteran's Administration has done a nice job of pulling together information and resources that are especially helpful to new or newer caregivers.

• The Diagnosis Care Sheets are written by health care professionals and address the most common diseases and disorders experienced by our veterans. They include Traumatic Brain Injury, Alzheimer's disease, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. They have also developed tips and checklists to help caregivers with a variety of tasks and responsibilities. A few examples include Preventing Medication Mishaps http://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/Preventing_Medication_Mishaps.pdf and tips for Communicating with your Veteran's Health Care Team http://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/Tips_for_Communicating_with_A_Veterans_Health_Care_Team.pdf.

• Another helpful section in the New to Caregiving area is their tips for Staying Organized http://www.caregiver.va.gov/toolbox_organized.asp. In this area, family caregivers will find two different resources for helping to manage medications. Most caregivers will agree that this can be one of the most stressful parts of caregiving in the early days. One of the two resources connects veterans and caregivers with a new prototype application from the National Library of Medicine. The other resource is a Medication Log you can download and use to document medicines, dosages, any reactions and more.

The VA Caregiver Support site isn't limited to just resources for new caregivers. There are a variety of resources to help caregivers who have been providing care for their veteran for a long time.

• One feature that will be of interest to caregivers is Help Near Home http://www.caregiver.va.gov/help_landing.asp. It allows caregivers to search for health care resources near their home by entering their zip code.

• Another helpful resource for veterans and their caregivers on the site falls under the eBenefits page https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portalhttps://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal. This section is a portal that connects veterans with real time information on benefits and services.

Are you caring for a veteran? We would love to hear your feedback about the site! Please let us know what you think by commenting below.

From personal care needs and case management to guardianship concerns, Seniors in Transition provides consulting services to help families turn frustrating health care problems into quality, affordable solutions. Seniors in Transition is here to help families in the Fort Collins, CO and Loveland, CO areas. Visit our website at www.seniorsintrans.com or call 970.204.6977 today.

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