Caregiver support and resources
American Red Cross Caregiver Training
Caregiver training helps family and friends care for wounded heroes. When a service member comes home injured or with long-term injuries, you can help provide his or her caregiver with skills and confidence to support their loved one. Family members truly appreciate being able to properly care for the hero they are welcoming home.
We're mothers, fathers, pet owners, sons, daughters, grandchildren, friends, and members of this online community along with you. We understand the difficulties and struggles you face when trying to find the right care and services for your families, yourself, and your home. Care.com provides a trusted place for families and care providers to easily connect, share caregiving experiences, and get advice. The company addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family may go through — including child care, special needs care, tutoring, senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more. The service enables families to find and select the best care possible based on detailed profiles, background checks, and references for hundreds of thousands of mom-reviewed providers who are seeking to share their services.
Caregiver Action Network
The Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the more than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age. CAN serves a broad spectrum of family caregivers ranging from the parents of children with special needs, to the families and friends of wounded soldiers; from a young couple dealing with a diagnosis of MS, to adult children caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease. CAN (formerly the National Family Caregivers Association) is a non-profit organization providing education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the country free of charge.
Play the Caregiver Village game. Change your life. It’s time to improve the lives of family caregivers. Caregiver Village, a brand new place on the web, is dedicated to doing exactly this. You can be a part of this transformation. All it takes is five simple action steps:
- JOIN – Become part of Caregiver Village and join a community of supportive, positive, life-changing individuals.
- SOLVE THE MYSTERY – Put the “fun” into what is perceived as a terrible drudgery by others. Play the Village Chronicles virtual game, and have a little fun while learning valuable self-care techniques.
- SHARE YOUR STORY – Creating and sharing a journal can be an incredibly helpful experience. No writing expertise required. Everyone’s welcome.
- GET CONNECTED – Join one of the many book clubs within Caregiver Village. You’ll find a group of people ready to help, support, educate and amuse you. They’re waiting just inside.
- FIND RESOURCES – Caregiver Village has a selection of resources selected just for busy family caregivers. Find resources that can make daily caregiving tasks much more manageable. You’ll find links to important organizations as well as exclusive Tip Sheets and Online Training courses designed just for you.
Caring From a Distance
Caring From a Distance (CFAD) is an organization for long-distance caregivers.
Are you one of the 6.9 million Americans struggling to care for an aging parent or other loved one who lives in a far-away city? If you are, we are here to help.
Whether you live across-the-world or an hour away, you and your family face special challenges. Where can you find the local resources they require? How can you, family and friends communicate in an emergency? What can you do to help when you visit? CFAD is here to help:
- If you are in a crisis and need assistance fast, click on Service Directories to find local help. We'll get you to a local professional or a telephone counselor.
- If you need to learn more about elder care and distance caregiving, just click on What To Do or Library.
- If you need to talk over upcoming decisions, you can organize a free conference call to share concerns and latest news.
Caring from a Distance is an independent, non-profit organization. We take no referral fees from service providers.
Easter Seals' Family Caregiver Training
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Easter Seals have recently partnered to provide comprehensive caregiver training to family caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans as authorized by the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. Eligible Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans receive comprehensive training developed by Easter Seals in collaboration with VA clinical experts.
Family Caregiver Alliance
Family Caregiver Alliance is a public voice for caregivers. Our pioneering programs--information, education, services, research and advocacy--support and sustain the important work of families nationwide caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions.
Supporting America's military in their time of need, we provide "a home away from home" that enables family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time -- during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. There is at least one Fisher House at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment.
Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.
Fisher House support by Homefront Hugs (Comfort Homes)
HELP SPONSOR A FAMILY
Your gift will be used to help meet the cost of lodging for a family whose loved one was injured in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. There is a limit to the number of families who can stay in a Fisher House. We are committed to help provide lodging for families who must find commercial lodging, because the Fisher House is full.
HELP PROVIDE FOR BASIC NEEDS
Fisher House supports military personnel wounded in action and those seriously ill being treated in military hospitals in the U.S. and overseas. Your donation of "Gifts from the Homefront" certificates will ease the burden for military personnel and their families at a most stressful time in their lives.
HELP PROVIDE FOOD AND STAPLES
Fisher House is proud to be one of a select group of national organizations participating in special program that provides military families in need with gift certificates that can be used to buy food and staples through the commissary (the military's grocery store). Your gift help meet the basic needs of a family during a stressful time.
National Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is pleased to announce the launch of a toll-free National Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274. The Caregiver Support Line was created to recognize the significant contributions made by caregivers allowing veterans to remain at home surrounded by family and friends.
Open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time; licensed clinical social workers will be available to answer your questions, listen to your concerns and directly link you to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center. Each VA Medical Center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator who can locate assistance tailored to your unique situation.
Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)
Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) was authorized by the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. This special monthly compensation is for servicemembers who incur a permanent catastrophic injury or illness. SCAADL helps offset the loss of income by a primary caregiver who provides non-medical care, support, and assistance for the servicemember. Read more in the WTC SCAADL fact sheet.
Support group for combat health care providers - Heartbeat for Warriors
Warrior Caregivers United—Serving Wounded Warriors offers a specialized support group for combat health care providers. The group is confidential and uplifting. The goal is to provide education and assist the warriors in growing supportive networks. Members develop, strengthen, and learn to use positive coping skills. This is critical for a healthy and productive life.
Combat medics, doctors, Navy corpsmen, and trauma nurses are military staff trained to provide medical care on the battlefield. This includes trauma care, first aid, and surgery. Each position differs slightly. Some might also oversee the troops’ ongoing health. Training for field medicine is rigorous and challenging; not all service members can complete the training. The combat medical team also includes chaplains, who are vital to the team’s success. Warrior Caregivers United welcomes all combat chaplains.
Support group for wounded warrior spouses - Heartbeat for Warriors
Wounded Warriors Spouse Support (WWSS) is a support group open to male and female spouses of wounded service members from all locations:
- Warrior Transition Battalion
- Madigan Army Medical Center
Monthly groups cover events and educational topics that help wounded warrior spouses with their unique life circumstances. Group meetings include free childcare, refreshments, and door prizes. It’s also an opportunity for Heartbeat and our donors to pamper those who sacrifice daily for us.
Support group for wounded warrior spouses - Operation Homefront's Wounded Warrior Wives
A community of women who are caring for warriors. Wounded Warrior Wives is an outreach program of Operation Homefront designed to provide caregivers of wounded, ill and injured servicemembers with resources, relationships and sources of respite.
The Wounded Warrior Family Care Project (Quality of Life Foundation)
Who's helping the caregivers of our Wounded Vets? The Quality of Life Foundation spent a year to research this issue then turned their attention to close the gap that exists between resources and needs for families who provide full-time care giving to their wounded warrior at home.
The Community Resource Coordinator Program provides a locally-based, personal resource coordinator to effectively leverage local, county, state and national resources to develop a system of support and meet emergency needs.
USO Caregiver Conferences
These events provide husbands, wives, parents and other caregivers supporting wounded warriors practical advice and needed information about available resources. Sessions address such topics as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, caregiver boundaries and intimacy, compassion fatigue, parenting, financial security and suicide prevention.
VA Caregiver Support
VA knows your focus as a family caregiver is taking care of the veteran you love. It can be an incredibly demanding job, and we want you to know you don't have to do it alone. Learn more about the support and services VA offers family caregivers. Includes: Caregiver Stories, Caregiver Toolbox, Caregiver Support Line, Local Caregiver Support Coordinator, and more.
VA Caregiver Support - New Services for Family Caregivers of Post-9/11 Veterans
Family caregivers provide crucial support in caring for veterans. VA recognizes that family caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of veterans under VA care.
Under the "Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010," additional VA services are now available to seriously injured post-9/11 veterans and their family caregivers through a new program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. VA is now accepting applications for these services.
New Services Available to Family Caregivers through this Program - The new law will provide additional assistance to primary family caregivers of eligible post-9/11 veterans and servicemembers. New services for this group include:
- Travel expenses (including lodging and per diem while accompanying veterans undergoing care)
- Access to health care insurance (if the caregiver is not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan)
- Mental health services and counseling
- Comprehensive VA caregiver training provided by Easter Seals
- Respite care (not less than 30 days per year)
Veteran CareGiver was developed squarely in response to expressed challenges by Wounded Warrior and Veteran families, and Veterans Affairs leadership. While no single entity or group can respond flawlessly to the individual matters faced by each Veteran due to sheer enormity of the task, families have openly spoken about their altered lives in the face of injury, illness, or aging. At times, feeling isolated, faced with multiple simultaneous issues, and needing answers, they also have expressed needs beyond survival.
Caregivers may create a personal Profile that reflects their interests, and share progress and friendship with Photos.
Veterans Caregiver Training - Easter Seals
Easter Seals in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a Program of Comprehensive Support to eligible Veteran caregivers. Training covers topics including caregiver self care, home safety, caregiver skills, veteran personal care, managing difficult behaviors and support resources.
Warrior House - Hope for the Warriors
Warrior House™ - Recognizing that wounded warriors with spouses and their families also benefit from the camaraderie and shared experiences of others, Hope For The Warriors™ has founded the Warrior House™ program. Warrior House™ will provide transitional, adapted living quarters for wounded families until such time that they can find suitable long-term adapted housing. In addition, Warrior House™ will provide lodging for families visiting wounded service members at the Wounded Warrior Barracks (Maxwell Hall) or Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. Warrior House™ I & II will provide adaptive housing for wounded Marines and Sailors returning to Camp Lejeune for their unit homecomings.
Well Spouse Association
A home for the husbands, wives and partners of those with any chronic illness, disease or disability. We hope you will find the information presented here easy to navigate and helpful in your caregiver journey.
Wounded Warrior Project Alumni Caregiver Retreats
At WWP, we’re committed to supporting not only our wounded warriors, but also the individuals who sustain them on their path to recovery. In the spring of 2008, we launched our Caregiver Retreats to support this unique, devoted group of wives, mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, and other family members who are helping their wounded loved ones face a range of physical and mental challenges.
These weekend-long, all-expense-paid retreats are usually hosted in Florida. The retreats provide caregivers an opportunity to get some much-needed physical and mental rest and rejuvenation and connect with others on a parallel journey. A comprehensive survey administered by WWP before the retreats ensures participants are placed into an appropriate group. The intimate retreat size, usually 15-25 participants, allows caregivers to connect with others experiencing a similar range of emotions in a safe, warm, and comfortable setting.
Wounded Warrior Wives - Operation HomeFront
The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the miraculous improvements in battlefield medicine have produced a new community of survivors; those warriors who come home. But those who come home have changed.
These changes, be they emotional or physical, often require the tireless efforts of spouses, mothers, sisters or other loved ones to support and care for them. If you are one of those selfless caregivers, this program was created just for you.
Through on-site support communities, and our virtual community that includes an online discussion forum, Wounded Warrior Wives provides female caregivers with opportunities to build relationships, access resources and enjoy brief moments of rest and respite from their care giving responsibilities.
Yellow Ribbon Fund - Family Caregiver Program (Walter Reed)
All the support services offered by the Family Caregiver Program are designed to assist those whose lives have been changed in the course of a single phone call. Most are grateful for the chance to help care for those they love but that doesn’t lessen the difficulty of the path before them and their service members. YRF’s support services acknowledge the strength and value of each caregiver — spouse, sibling, parent, or friend — and offers opportunities to thrive instead of just survive.
The Family Caregiver Program provides:
- Other offerings include, at no charge: Spa Days, haircuts, horseback riding, Kid’s Movie Matinee, and more.
These activities ease the transition of relocation and present opportunities for family members to gain confidence in their ability to adapt to very challenging circumstances while networking and building support systems with other caregivers who are going through the same thing. In times of significant change and uncertainty, these small creature comforts can create feelings of normalcy, stability and well-being for those who have an extremely long road to recovery ahead.
Tools to coordinate care
- www.LotsaHelpingHands.com - Free, private, web-based communities for organizing friends, family, and colleagues – your ‘circles of community’ – during times of need. Easily coordinate activities and manage volunteers with our intuitive group calendar.
- www.CareCalendar.org - CareCalendar is a web based system to organize meals and other help for families during a time of illness or life changing event, such as the birth of a baby or death of a family member. CareCalendar can also be used for long term situations, including homebound and caregiver respite care needs.
- www.TakeThemAMeal.com - TakeThemAMeal.com is an free online tool for coordinating the delivery of meals to loved ones. If someone is ill, elderly, or has had a new baby, oftentimes family, friends, co-workers, church members rally around these families to take them meals. In the past, one person would coordinate (by phone or e-mail) the scheduling of the meals. Now, the meal coordinator can use TakeThemAMeal.com to allow the meal deliverers to sign up for the day or days when they will deliver meals to the meal recipients.
- www.TheTLCKitchen.com Tender. Loving. Care. That’s our passion here at The TLC Kitchen. For many different life events, we are here to help you show someone you care by sending them a delicious, home-style meal prepared in our USDA approved kitchen.
- www.MealTrain.com - MealTrain.com is a free solution that simplifies the organization of giving and receiving meals. By allowing the giving party to take into account the recipient’s preferred meal times, food preferences, and available days, the site helps ensure that the recipient gets the meals they enjoy on the days that are most helpful.
Everything About ME (Military personnel and families edition):
A guide for my future caregivers
Author: Dee Marrella, Copyright @ 2011
With the huge numbers of American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries requiring long-term care -- possibly life-long care, this book (print and electronic versions) provides individuals and their families with a way to create a true tool that can be used by any caregiver who ever works with this person. Since family members might not always be available to be the caregiver in a veterans life, this guide will provide even a total caring stranger with a lifetime of knowledge, information and guidance on what the individual desires in the way of caregiving. This book, when completed, will tell all who use it every important fact about them: how "I" feel about life support, my favorite foods, the TV programs I dislike, how I'd like to have my obituary read, and my funeral conducted. When the time comes that a once vibrant individual required round-the-clock caregiving, and may not have a "voice" left o speak with -- this book can be that "voice" tell all who use it everything you want known.
Handbook: Keeping It All Together
An organizing notebook for wounded, ill, and injured service
members and their families
This notebook system helps injured service members and their families keep paperwork, including business cards, together in one place. It contains a fill-in medical journal for organizing information, helpful articles about the recovery process, and plastic sleeves and zipper envelopes for keeping travel vouchers, business cards, and other papers safe.
Developed with help from the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR), Navy Safe Harbor – Severely Injured Support, and the Air Force Warrior and Survivor Assistance Program.
The organizer’s pages are also available to download and print.
A couple's guide to coping with trauma and post-traumatic stress
Authors: Suzanne B. Phillips and Dianne Kane, Copyright @ 2009
After a traumatic experience, we are told time and time again to take care of ourselves and reach out to the people we love. But what happens when you reach out and your partner can't reach back? This book is for people in relationships where either partner has faced trauma in any of its forms: violence, natural disasters, war, life-threatening accidents, crime, health problems, or loss of a loved one.
One or both partners can use Healing Together to recover from trauma or help their partner recover by understanding the impact of trauma, learning to communicate their needs, managing anger, dealing with traumatic memories, recapturing lost intimacy, and recognizing their resiliency as a couple. The practical, step-by-step program presented in this guide is inspired and informed by the authors' clinical experiences with patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and their work with firefighters and their partners in the aftermath of 9/11. In the wake of tragedy, this book can help you build a resilient relationship and move forward with compassion, hope, and love.
Keeping It All Together
For wounded, ill and injured service members and their families
Keeping It All Together is an organizing notebook for wounded, ill, and injured service members and their families. This tool helps to document and organize the service member's important information during the service member's treatment and recovery.
The Caregiving Wife's Handbook
Caring for your seriously ill husband, caring for yourself
Author: Diane B. Denholm, Copyright @ 2012
A month after proposing marriage, Diana Denholm's husband was diagnosed with colon cancer and later congestive heart failure. Following a heart transplant several of her husband's body systems began failing forcing Diana to become his primary caregiver for more than a decade. The Caregiving Wife's Handbook is a step-by-step communication guide to help women maintain emotional, physical and financial health in their unique role as caregivers to their dying husbands.
Women are suffering physical, emotional and financial burnout as the United States' leading caregivers. Of the 65 million caregivers in the U.S., 66% are women, and these numbers will only increase as the population ages. And while statistics and resources abound for caregivers in general, very little exists for women in their unique role as caregivers to their dying husbands.
Traditionally, caring for a dying husband has been seen as a "wifely duty." Most wives don’t label themselves, and aren’t labeled by others, as caregivers. But advances in medical technology are making this distinction an imperitive since women are under more stress as caregivers than at any other time in history. Although there are generic similarities in caretaking, caregiving for a dying husband is distinctly different, and the longer the dying process, the more complex the problems.
When a husband is in the process of dying for many months or years the experience is quite different than a husband's sudden death. On top of dealing with the tragedy, the wife must figure out how to make life work. Sometimes a woman is married to the love of her life and sometimes not. Some marriages strengthen, while others disintegrate. Some women are in abusive relationships and find the abuse continues, and even increases, during these times, while others find, much to their surprise, that they become the abusers. Still some will start or increase substance abuse and others will have affairs to get by.
The Caregiving Wife's Handbook aims to help women get through their husbands' illness and death with compassion, emotionally whole and without regret by helping them communicate clearly—and in steps—about issues affecting this unique caregiving relationship.
Without specific direction, many women find themselves over the top with stress as their lives change radically. As a board certified medical psychotherapist and primary caregiver, Diana Denholm recognized the need for a step-by-step process to help women communicate with their husbands to avoid irreparable damage and regret.
In The Caregiving Wife's Handbook, you will learn:
- To ask questions you may not realize you need to ask
- The issues that bother you and a method for categorizing them
- What you should and shouldn't discuss with your husband
- How to make and prepare for a date to talk about difficult topics
- What to do if your husband won't talk
- To create "understandings" with your husband
- How to deal with his family
You will also learn survival tips from the case histories of Joyce, Fran, Tina, Jean, Susan, and Mary. Their experiences will help you:
- Choose roles you should take and those you should avoid
- Understand what is “normal” in what you’re experiencing and feeling
- Take care of yourself so you can survive and even have fun
- Implement do’s and avoid don’ts to make your life simpler
- Balance with greater ease
Other topics addressed are:
- Current and future finances
- Unrealistic expectations...
The challenges of this time are endless and extreme and the reality often isn’t the beautiful and revered journey often portrayed. When a husband is dying of a long-term illness, the gift of time can allow us to prepare and say all the loving things we need to say, but it can also provide a lot of time for severe stressors and problems to develop. These problems and stressors can be debilitating for the caregiver and provide too many opportunities to say and do things we might regret. The Caregiving Wife's Handbook will give you the tools and support needed to get through your husbands' illness and death with compassion, emotionally whole and without regret.
Let The Caregiving Wife's Handbook support you amidst the grief—all the way through the Final Chapter.