Thursday, May 30, 2013

So-Called Caregiver Support

We had a wonderful time camping a couple of weeks ago! It was so nice to get away, even though it wasn't far. We camped along the river, so it was nice and relaxing. My husband got to kick back and relax. He had one day that he couldn't get out of the camper at all because of his pain, but the other days he was either able to go for walks or at least able to just hang out outside the camper in a lawn chair. Then we get penalized for it....

The VA Caregiver Support program was designed to assist caregivers of wounded warriors with financial issues from having to quit work to stay home with the vet, classes to learn more on how to help your warrior, home aids such as shower chairs and raised toilet seats, respite for the caregiver, and social support. Unfortunately the program is failing miserably! Don't you want your vets to get better? Don't you want them to live as much of a "new normal" life as possible? The program has turned into a sad existence... a program apparently only for caregivers of warriors who are completely bedridden all day every day and have to be spoon fed 100% of the time.

When they found out that we spent some time at the river, they decided it must mean my husband all of a sudden got better, no longer needs my help, and lives life as normal. When they saw him out to eat on a good day, they decided it must mean he has no more problems. In fact, the caregiver support coordinator actually said to me, "Well if we see him out of the house that tells us he is better and no longer needs any help." Really???? How illogical and dumb can you be??? Come live with us for a couple of months. I guarantee you she couldn't handle it. She has no clue what it's like. Do we not want our warriors to get out and about when they are able so they don't get depressed to the point of being suicidal? We've been there, done that. Trust me... he MUST get out of the house when he can!! And as his wife and caregiver I will do everything in my power to make sure he gets to.

I wondered if I was the only one dealing with this, so I posted a question in an online forum for caregivers about the situation. Come to find out this is happening all over the country. A program that was originally created to help caregivers and their wounded warriors is actually just causing more stress than help in their lives. Only one location claims their program actually assists them, and that was only after their original coordinator was let go and another one was hired. I'm thinking it's time for a lot of CGC's to get replaced. It's sad when vets have to go outside of the VA to get the help they need.

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