by Maurice A. Barnes, MBA
As we start the month of July celebrating the independence of our country, I was surprised to learn that nearly 11% of our nation’s caregivers are veterans as well as 17% of veterans received care from a loved one inside their home according to the Caregivers of Veterans 2010 report. Caregiving is a stressful role for anyone, but for caregivers of veterans, it can be more challenging and frustrating. Many veterans requiring care may suffer from depression or anxiety; post-traumatic stress; traumatic brain injury; diabetes, paralysis; spinal cord injury; or bone/joint/limb problems.
As caregivers provide care to their loved ones, they have identified the following challenges:
My Family’s Home Care believes it is important to care for the men and women who have put their lives on the line for our freedom. We also feel that it is important to help our Veterans when possible. Below, Veterans, Caregivers of Veterans and their families can find resources in the Charlotte and surrounding areas that are available to help.
W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center – Salisbury, NC. Since 1953, Hefner VAMC has been improving the health of the men and women who has proudly served our nation. Primary and secondary inpatient healthcare are available to more than 287,000 veterans living in a 24-county area of the Central Piedmont Region of North Carolina. Veteran Outreach Centers are also available in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston Salem. For more information, visit www.salisbury.va.gov or call 800-469-8262.
Charlotte VA Outpatient Clinic – 8601 University East Drive, Charlotte NC 28213. The Charlotte VA Outpatient Clinic provides primary care services for veterans in the Charlotte metro area. Behavioral Health Services are also available for individuals, group and family counseling. For more information, visit http://www.salisbury.va.gov/visitors/charlotte.asp or call 704-597-3500.
Caregiver Support – The support line serves as a primary resource/referral center to assist caregivers, Veterans and others seeking caregiver information. For more information, visit http://www.aging.com or call Charlotte’s local representative at 800-469-8262.
Veterans Crisis Line – Connects Veterans in crisis or their families and friends with qualified, caring VA professionals. Assistance is available through a confidential, toll free hotline or via online chat. For more information visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Veterans/Default.aspx?banner or call 800-273-TALK (8255) & Press 1 for assistance.
Returning Service Members – A program that helps veterans who have just return from service to receive free health care for any condition that may be related to combat service. For more information, visit http://www.salisbury.va.gov/freedom.asp or contact Charlotte’s local representative, Stacia Marcellin at 704-638-9000 ext. 4790.
For more information on how to help veterans, visit www.salisbury.va.gov or www.myfamilyshomecare.com. For a copy of the Caregivers of Veterans 2010 Report, visit http://www.caregiving.org/data/2010_Caregivers_of_Veterans_FULLREPORT_WEB_FINAL.pdf.