Military caregiving and the Veterans Directed Program

By By Juanita Jiménez-Soto: For Entire Post, Go Here…

The pandemic changed the way we do everyday things. For caregivers, these changes may mean added stress and a need for resources and help.  But did you know that military caregivers experience higher risks of poor health, strained family relationships, and a more immense financial loss than non-military caregivers?

A new study revealed COVID-19 has exacerbated the stress for the 5.5 million caregivers in the U.S. who care for military members and veterans. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a host of resources available for our brave men and women who have served our country in uniform.

“The first service they want to enroll in upon discharge is with the Veterans Administration (VA),” said Keith Taylor, Case Manager and Veterans Specialist with the Harris County Area Agency on Aging. “Veterans have several options from which to choose. One of the things I am very proud of is the Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services Program.”

In cooperation with the Veterans Administration, this unique program gives veterans another option to have their caregiving needs delivered.

“It’s not a traditional top-down form of delivery of services or model of care,” said Taylor. “Under the Veterans Directed Program, there is a pot of funds allocated to each veteran according to their specific caregiving needs.”

The VA provides the funding for the program, said Taylor. The veteran or his representative can hire their caregiver, set the hourly pay, and the hourly work schedule. Taylor said it’s a self-directed model of care that works better because it takes the recipient’s needs and schedules into account. A financial management services contractor even takes care of the taxes and W-2 forms necessary for employees to handle their taxes.

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