During a nutrition assessment, a registered dietitian nutritionist will ask your Veteran a lot of questions, but also to you, the caregiver. Being a caregiver comes with a unique set of challenges, and the Caregiver Support Program can help.

Listen in to episode 34 of Fresh Focus, as we welcome Jonnah Coffel to shed light on what to do if you are experiencing some caregiver burden.

There are two unique programs within the Caregiver Support Program:

General Caregiver Support Services includes 3 main areas

  1. Resource and referral. GCSS can assist with navigating VA services, including those available as part of the Veteran’s healthcare and benefits.
  2. Education, training, and support. GCSS has a plethora of resources for caregivers that focus on self-care, managing caregiver fatigue and stress, and assisting with navigating caregiver issues.
  3. Counseling for caregivers. If the caregiver is experiencing challenges that are in connection with the Veteran’s treatment, they can be referred for counseling sessions.

Please remember that, as a family caregiver, you play an important role in caring for the Veteran at home and in the community.

How to find Caregiver Support Program resources:

  • Reach out to your assigned outpatient clinic and request to speak to the Primary Care Social Worker.
  • Contact your local VA and ask to speak to the Caregiver Support Program’s program support assistant, who can connect you with the appropriate clinician to best meet your needs.
  • Caregivers can also contact the National Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 regarding VA services or supportive counseling, Monday through Friday, from 7am to 7pm CST. This line is staffed by VA clinical social workers. They will link the callers to their local caregiver support coordinators.

By Fresh Focus Dietitians Beth Blair and Lindsey Purcell welcome Jonnah Coffel, LCSW, from the Marion VA Health Care System

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Published on Jul. 17, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.5 min.

Views to date: 432


  1. Cathy Neher July 20, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Members and their wives of Louisiana VVA Chapter 1052 were interviewed for the caregiver program. Every single one was denied! These men need caregiver support. The wives have been their caregivers since their return from Vietnam. Living with PTSD is extremely difficult on both
    the man and his wife. For many years Vietnam War Veterans were not treated for PTSD because of their rejection by the American public. These men are sicker now. From exposure to Agrnt Orange. How could this group NOT be selected for the caregiver program? It is a shame and just another rejection.

  2. Patrick Perault July 18, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    They need a speech pathologist in the interview as well, as they are the specialists in swallowing disorders. There were no concerns about my dysphagia during my interview, which is potentially instantly fatal. I didn’t see anyone on the panel of experts deciding on applications either.

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