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Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence


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MS Caregivers/Partners - Taking Care of You!

Caregivers and Care Partners are very important to our Veterans with MS! It's important to take care of yourself as you care for your loved one with MS. If you aren’t healthy, it's harder to provide good care. 

VA Caregiver Support's audio guide can get you started to help restore your emotional balance.

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a great resource website that connects wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, their families, and caregivers to programs and services that support them.

Caregiver and Veteran web resources and FREE courses by the VA and PsychArmor Institute about VA Caregiver Benefits 

Respite Care - All Veterans and Caregivers are eligible for 30 days of respite care per year.
Home Healthcare Services
Aid and Attendance support
Advanced Care Planning
Understanding Long Term Care Options

VA Caregiver Support Program  Caregiver Support Line – 1-855-260-3274 
VA MS Fact Sheet for Family Caregivers  

Ask your VA Social Worker or VA Caregiver Coordinator if a Caregiver REACH VA-MS program or other support group is available at your VA. REACH VA-MS is a self care group or individual sessions specific for MS Caregivers.

New! REACH VA-MS is tailored to VA Caregivers of MS.

REACH VA - MS (Resources for Enhancing all Caregivers Health of Veterans for Multiple Sclerosis) is an evidence-based program for Caregivers of different diseases and conditions. With the new Multiple Sclerosis Curriculum, you can teach caregivers about issues related to MS.

Certified REACH VA Program Coaches

help Caregivers develop skills in stress management, disease-specific knowledge, and coping strategies to reduce Caregiver stress and burden. 

For more information about REACH VA-MS contact:
VA Puget Sound, Seattle
Baltimore VA

Caregiver Resources and Presentations

•  Burnout
    Coping with Caregiver Burnout
    Tips for Managing Caregiver Burnout

•  Caregiver Guides
Multiple Sclerosis: A Guide for Patients, Families, and Caregivers (American Academy of Neurology) 
    YouTube Video

•  Communication Skills

    Caregiver Communication: Taking Care of You
    Caregivers: Working Well with your Providers
    Choosing Your Words: Harnessing the Power of Communication
    Setting Boundaries: Defining What is Best for You, the Caregiver
•  Depression and MS   
    Depression and Suicide Risk in MS: How Caregivers Can Help! 
•  Emotions and MS   
    Emotional Changes in the Veteran with MS: Tips for the MS Caregiver
    Tempering the Tyrant: Finding Anger’s Rightful Place 

•  Goal-setting/Problem-solving
Making my Goals Matter: Looking Forward to the Year Ahead
    Exploring Problem Solving Skills for Caregivers

•  Happiness and Quality of Life 

    Everyday Matters Program - National MS Society  
•  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Veterans and their Caregivers

•  Medication Management - MS Disease Modifying Therapies

    DMTs & Caregiving

•  Mood and Mental Health Concerns
Understanding MS Mood Changes

•  Occupational Therapy
    Occupational Therapy for MS Patient
•  Pain
    Easing Pain in MS for your Loved Ones & Yourself

•  Physical Rehabiliation
    MS & Physical Therapy
•  Post-traumatic Stress
    National Center for PTSD - Veterans/Family/Friends

•  Relationship Building
Leaning into Love: Building Strong Relationship Bonds
•  Self Care Handouts from VA Caregiver Support:
Self Care when Caring for Loved One with Mental Health Concerns
    Caregiver Self Care: Embracing the Magic in the Moment
    Creating a Space for You: Caring for a Loved One at Home
    Preserving Caregivers on the Front Lines
    Stepping into Stillness

•  Spasticity
    Bend and Not Break: Controlling spasticity before it controls your loved ones

•  Stress Management
    Mindfulness Stress Reduction 
    Caregiver Stress 
    Relaxation Exercises 
    Yoga (gentle)
    Tai Chi (gentle)

•  Travel with MS

    Travel Resources for travelers with disabilities
    Transportation and Driving

•  Wellness
Caregiver Wellness 
    Negotiating the Emotional Milestones of Aging, Illness and Caregiving

MS Centers of Excellence Research & Presentations 
Research and Caregivers
    Research Studies 
    Professional Presentations 

MS Organizations
    Multiple Sclerosis Foundation
    Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
    National MS Society  
    ♦  A Guide for Caregivers
    National Alliance for Caregiving: Multiple Sclerosis Caregivers 2012 Report

Veteran Service Organizations - Serving Veterans with MS    
    Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
    Disabled American Veterans

Military/National Guard & Reserve/Veterans
    Caring for Military Families - Elizabeth Dole Foundation  
    Hidden Heroes - Elizabeth Dole Foundation
    Care for Wounded Soldiers Caregiver's Support Kit® 
    Military Families Learning Network - Military Caregiving  
    Service Members & Families - Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury
    The Real Warriors Campaign - Psychological Health Concerns - Family Support    
General Resources 
    Caregiver Action Network

    Caregiver Stress support at
    National Caregiving Foundation
    National Family Caregivers Association 
    National Resource Directory
    Share the Care
    Today's Caregiver


MSCoE Social Workers

Maggie Kazmierski
VA Greater Maryland
Baltimore, MD

Alicia Sloan
VA Puget Sound
Seattle, WA

Jan Spencer
VA Portland
Portland, OR