Veteran Health Indiana
We offer several groups to support Caregivers:
Web-based Support Group: Building Better Caregivers:
This six week workshop helps Caregivers in two key ways: it offers training in how to provide better care, and it also helps Caregivers learn how to manage their own emotions, stress and physical health. Topics covered include:
- managing your stress,
- communicating more effectively,
- taking care of your own health,
- managing difficult emotions,
- managing difficult behaviors,
- and getting support from other Caregivers while sharing your experience;
- Caregiver Support Line Telephone Education Calls
Caregivers are asked to log on at least 2-3 times each week. A new session will be posted each week, and you will be able to participate with 20-25 Caregivers.
If you are interested in joining Building Better Caregivers or have any questions, please call Kyle R. Myers, LCSW, at 317-988-3488.
Upcoming Group Meetings
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
In an effort to provide more extensive stress reduction services, used independently or in combination with ongoing medical and psychiatric treatment, the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program is being offered three times each year at the Roudebush VA Medical Center. The course is taught in eight consecutive weeks, meeting once per week for 2.5 hours to learn techniques of mindfulness mediation. The mindfulness approach is taught through lying and sitting meditations, light stretching or yoga, and walking. This formal practice is integrated with an informal practice of mindfulness, allowing mindful attention to be brought to daily activities such as work, interactions, or stressful events. If you are a Caregiver and would like to participate in this program, please contact Caregiver Support Coordinator, Mary Burns-Verbarg, (317) 988-4891.
Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program: Being the Caregiver of a Veteran is full of challenges. VA has developed a Peer Support Mentoring Program to link you to a peer - someone who has experienced similar challenges and situations - to provide you with additional support and guidance along your journey. The goal of the Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program is to strengthen relationships between Caregivers, to provide an opportunity for networking and to empower Caregivers to help one another. The Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring Program provides an opportunity for Caregivers to receive guidance and to share their experience, wisdom, skills and passion with other Caregivers
Resources of Enhancing All Caregivers’ Health (REACH) VA Telephone Support Group: The REACH VA program offers a six month telephone support group to Caregivers providing long-term care for Veterans diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Each month the telephone support group will address a new topic and education important for all Caregivers, while also providing time for Caregivers to share their experiences and concerns. If you have any questions or would like to join this group, please contact Mary Burns-Verbarg, (317) 988-4891.
Stress Management for the Caregiver: This group is offered through the Indianapolis VAMC PACC clinic and will meet for four sessions. Topics for the group will include: responsibilities and rewards of Caregiving, recognizing and relieving Caregiver stress, overview and access of community resources, stress management techniques, and behavior management strategies. Please contact Monica Connolly, MSW, LCSW at 317-988-3685 with any additional questions or to enroll in the group.
Multiple Sclerosis Family and Caregiver Conference Call: The VA Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence host a family member and Caregiver conference call the fourth Monday of each month from 2:00-3:00 p.m. The call will offer a variety of educational topics, resources, and allow for family members and Caregivers to connect with one another to share their unique stories. To participate in this call, please contact Kyle R. Myers, LCSW at 317-988-3488.
Family-to-Family Program: This program is facilitated by the Indianapolis chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The Family-to-Family Program is a 12 week course for family Caregivers of individuals with severe mental illness. You can find additional information by visiting: http://www.namiindy.org/. If you would like to register for this course, please call NAMI Indianapolis at 317-257-7517, or the Local Recovery Coordinator, Scott Patterson, PhD, HSPP at 317-988-4286.
The Visual Impairment Services Team (VIST) Vision Loss Support Group: The vision loss support group is open to Veterans and Caregivers to provide support, resources, and encouragement to Veterans who have vision loss. It occurs the second Friday of every month from 2:00-3:00 p.m. For more information please contact VIST Coordinator, Deanna Austin, at 317-988-2576.
Caring While Sharing: This general support group, which will be non-disease specific, will have two options for Caregivers. There will be a telephone group available the second Wednesday of every month from 10 - 11:00 a.m.
The goals of this group are to provide:
- A safe haven for Caregivers to discuss feelings commonly associated with Caregiving;
- A confidential setting where Caregivers can discuss their struggles, while also focusing on the positives and Caregiver’s individual strengths; and
- A forum to share VA Medical Center and community resources.
Please contact Mary Burns-Verbarg, (317) 988-4891 to participate in one of these groups.
VA offers a number of services that can provide you with the support that's right for you. Whether you and the Veteran you care for could use some help at home or you just need someone to listen, we're here to support you. Follow the link to learn more about the variety of services available to Family Caregivers.
The Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) is expanding to all eras.
Expansion rolls out in two phases beginning with eligible Veterans who served on or before May 7, 1975, and phase two, beginning October 1, 2022, will include eligible Veterans who served between May 7, 1975, and September 11, 2001.
PCAFC, which prior to this expansion was only available for eligible Post-9/11 Veterans who incurred or aggravated a serious injury in the line of duty, provides resources, education, support, a financial stipend, health insurance, and beneficiary travel to caregivers of eligible Veterans.
Veterans with a 70% service-connected disability who served either on or after September 11, 2001, or on or before May 7, 1975, and are in need of Caregivers Support should contact their local Caregivers Support Coordinator, or visit https://www.caregiver.va.gov for more information.
Have questions about VA Caregiver Support Services? Contact VA's Caregiver Support Line (1-855-260-3274) or your local Caregiver Support Coordinator for assistance.