Friday, April 13, 2012

How Do You Keep Going?

Good evening,

It has been a very tough week.  And, somehow, it’s harder to manage the emotional turmoil when the weather is beautiful than in the cold of winter.  We are always, always glad to help Caregivers and their families, but it’s becoming more difficult to understand why the multiple calls and connections we make on behalf of families isn’t being done by those whose jobs exist solely to assist Veterans.  No system is perfect, but the dysfunction seems epic.

Ask yourself if any of the following surprises you?
·         Veteran cannot get a replacement motorized scooter for broken one when completely immobile without it
·         Caregiver cannot obtain monthly pain meds for husband with over 5 days notice, and goes without meds over weekend (31 days wreaks havoc)
·         Veteran has two orthopedic surgeries (one corrective of the other) and is sent home without assistance nor coordination with Caregiver
·         Rehabiliation specialist tells the Caregiver to “Shut Up” when explaining the downward spiral of immobility of her husband
·         Families buy hospital bed/toilet/assistive devices/crutches/etc off Craigslist because cannot obtain after months of waiting
·         Veteran told his wheelchair is denied because his injury “isn’t service-connected enough”
·         Veteran told no admittance to PTSD program because “you need to be physically and mentally well first”
·         Veteran told by emergency line that “I see you’re a ‘frequent flyer’ on this line – what do you want this time?”
·         Caregiver and Veteran not heard when they explained that a med he took was causing him to be physically violent (they stopped it anyway)
·         Delay upon delay in ratings, mental health appointments, approvals, referrals, treatment
·         Calls and emails to VA care teams and coordinators not returned in two days, four days, a week, ever…

Thank goodness Caregivers and Veteran families are strong, well-spoken, and determined.  They have to be.  This VCG Community will continue to listen, respond, provide contacts and a warm hand-off to caring resources, and will find you that battle buddy, someone to help, and stick with you until the issues are resolved as far as possible.  We only wish that the indignities, the disrespect, and the undermining of the Caregiver and Veteran would dwindle and cease.  We look forward to the day when no one is surprised that we are asking for help for what you earned, that those that are paid to do so readily provide it, and then -- make it their responsibility to follow-up and care.

As a very old song goes:  Wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin, and prayin’,

The VeteranCaregiver Team

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