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Are You a Caregiver for a Veteran?

senior woman caregiver with a senior man in background

The program has been recognized for its ability to reduce Caregiver stress.

by Hans Petersen, VA Staff Writer
Monday, August 26, 2013

Free Online Workshop Provides Information and Support

It’s called Building Better Caregivers™ and it’s a free six-week online workshop for family caregivers of Veterans.

If you are taking care of a Veteran, this workshop will help you learn a variety of skills like time and stress management, healthy eating, exercise and dealing with difficult emotions.

Participants log on two to three times each week to review lessons, exchange ideas with other caregivers and access tools to make caregiving easier. The program, developed at Stanford University, has been recognized for its ability to reduce caregiver stress, depression and increase their overall well-being.

This comprehensive online workshop addresses specific needs of caregivers who care for Veterans with dementia, memory problems, traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress disorder, or any other serious injury or illness.

 VA is committed to providing Caregivers with the support they need. 

How does it work?

It’s a six-week, highly-interactive, online small-group workshop where 20-25 family caregivers complete the online workshop together. It’s facilitated by two trained moderators, one or both of whom also are caregivers. Participation may be at two to three times during each week, for a total of two hours a week for six-weeks.

VA and the National Council on Aging are making this program available through an innovative partnership to provide self-management support for family caregivers.

“VA is committed to providing caregivers with the support they need to help those who live with scars borne in battle in defense of our nation’s freedom,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We are especially pleased to be working with the National Council on Aging which has worked with multiple generations of Veterans and is uniquely qualified to provide this support to caregivers of Veterans from all eras.”

How Do I Sign Up?

Caregivers of Veterans interested in participating in Building Better Caregivers™ should contact a local Caregiver Support Coordinator. There is one designated Caregiver Support Coordinator at every VA Medical Center who can provide additional information and referral to the program. You can locate your Caregiver Support Coordinator by visiting www.caregiver.va.gov and entering your ZIP code in the ZIP code finder.