Caregivers assist those veterans who are chronically ill, disabled, or are getting older, unable to care for themselves. They help with personal needs, household chores, and finances. They arrange for outside services, or visit regularly to see how the veteran is doing.
Caregivers are generally unpaid family members or friends who provide care to their loved one. You do not need to live with a veteran to be considered a caregiver and many people who serve as a caregiver do not recognize themselves as such – they may simply think they’re “helping out.”
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are a caregiver
- Do you feel responsible for providing support to a loved one?
- Do you help out a loved one around the home, with cooking or cleaning, even if only on an occasional basis?
- Do you take your loved one to run errands and/or escort them to medical appointments?
- Would your loved one call you in an emergency and expect your prompt assistance?
- Do you provide support or assistance to a loved one living in long-term care, assisted living, or a residential facility?
VA Hotline to Assist Caregivers
Without assistance, caregivers may experience stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, financial challenges, or neglect their personal health.
The VA now offers a toll-free Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.
- Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM Central Time
- Saturday 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time
The Caregiver Support Line has a licensed professional who will:
- Tell you about the assistance available from VA.
- Help you access services.
- Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.
- Just listen if that’s what you need right now.
- VA Caregiver website: http://www.caregiver.va.gov/
DAV Position: Caregivers
Family caregivers provide the vast majority of the care and support for loved ones with chronic care needs and functional limitations. DAV urges Congress to extend eligibility for VA caregiver support benefits and services making them available to veterans of all eras.