Friday, November 11, 2011

VA and DoD Caregiver Program Update

Here is the latest information directly from VA and DoD staff yesterday on the status of the VA Caregiver Program and the DoD Recovery Care Coordinators (RCC’s) for you:

The Veterans Caregiver Program now:
-   To date, 1,884 Primary Caregivers are assigned and receiving stipends
-   $10.7MM have been distributed to date
-  Caregivers are 69% spouses, 9% parents, and 22% Other
-   The age distribution is 28% 26-40yrs, 34% 41-64yrs, and 34% >65yrs
-   Caregiver Website has 868 hits/day, 2.9 page views/user for 2077 page views/day
-  Caregiver Helpline has taken 19,000 calls to date equaling 150 calls/day
-  Caregiver Support Coordinators are assigned to 153 VA facilities as clinical experts for CG’s
-  CG Coordinators’ role is to “Ensure Caregiver sensitivity into all VA programs”

The Caregiver Education and Training components by VA and Easter Seals have distributed 2,000 Handbooks (77 of them in Spanish), held 21 two-day trainings, and of the 100 Caregivers trained, 76 completed both days of training.  Six hundred fifty (650) Caregivers have taken the online training, with 544 completions.   Education and training was not originally designed to be disease/condition specific, but beginning in the summer of 2012, modules will be begin to be released for PTSD, then dementia, spinal cord injury, and TBI.  A Peer Support Mentoring Program will be rolled out in January for Caregivers of all eras, with mentor training and ongoing support for this new role.

Federal Recovery Coordinators have grown to 55 strong, and the Caregiver Program and the FRC/RCC programs are physically on the same floor at VACO which enhances the collaborative effort.  The Washington Post is conducting interviews this week regarding the DoD/VA efforts to support transition.

On the DoD side of the continuum of care:
-   Recovery Care Coordinators (RCC’s) are made available and/or assigned to wounded warriors
-   Of those in the program, 122 of the 188 service members are Marines.  It is anticipated the Army will soon grow their numbers and participation.
-  Army currently has 14,280 in the WTU nationwide with a cadre of 4,000 support staff.  Of the 14,280, 10,000 soldiers are Reservists.
-  The WTU has ensured that “the family aspects are well taken care of”

We’ll pass on fresh information as it is provided.

VeteranCaregiver Team

Friday, November 4, 2011

CBS News Caregiver Broadcast

       Here is the promised CBS News video of our treasured friend and her daughter:

       Please spread the word so that Caregivers' needs and challenges are better understood!