For wives like Laura Stevens, being a caregiver is a full-time job. Aside from tending to her three children, she must play the role of caregiver, counselor, and advocate for her injured husband.
Stevens is one of 65 million Americans who provide unpaid, informal support in aiding family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones who have problems taking care of themselves. Caregivers are especially common in military families.
“Every day, members of the armed forces return home with injuries and must be cared for by their loved ones,” Stevens said. “These caregivers must set aside their own plans to provide assistance for their family.”
On Nov. 10, the Caregiver Coalition of San Diego will be hosting an educational resource fair at the San Diego VA Medical Center to recognize and provide assistance to caregivers like Stevens who have given so much to help others. The conference, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room, will offer a variety of information from self-care to legal assistance.
In addition, VA San Diego Healthcare System will provide a variety of informational tables to help caregivers with their needs.
To access caregiver programs offered by the VA, families with Veterans should call the toll-free line at 1-855-260-3274 for live support. Operators can offer information and assistance and connect caregivers with their local VA caregiver support coordinator.
“Our goal is to provide a wealth of resources whether you are a young family or from our core group of older Veterans,” said Karin Kupka, San Diego’s local VA coordinator.
For general information on caregiver services, go to: http://www.sandiego.va.gov/services/caregiver_support.asp and http://www.caregiver.va.gov/
Also be sure to visit http://www.caregivercoalitionsd.org/ for more detailed information on the Nov. 10 event, along with upcoming caregiver events in the area.