Caregivers provide a valuable service for Veterans and are "partners" with us in providing excellent healthcare. To support these efforts, VA Fargo offers a number of services to support you and the Veteran you care for. Our caregiver support team is standing by to help you find what you need, whether it's in-home help, someone to listen to, or anything in between.
Hjemkomst Center Event
- Wednesday, June 12th 2024 1300-1600
- Registration Information & Flyer Coming Soon!
Contact our Caregiver Support Team
Dementia Education Group
- March 12th, 2024 1300-1400 at VA Fargo - Independence Elevators- 2nd Floor - Room 2E-10
Annual Caregiver Couples Retreat
- Save the Date: October 2024 - More Information to Come!!!
What is a Caregiver?
Caregivers are the family members and loved ones who provide care for Veterans who are living with the effects of war, disability, chronic illness, or aging. They deserve VA’s highest level of support. Caregivers provide the support and care needed to allow Veterans to remain in their own home. They also play an important role in supporting Veterans who are hospitalized or living outside their home.
Caregivers are the critical link to ensuring Veterans have quality care and optimal wellness. We want all caregivers to feel supported and have trust in VA to assist them in their caregiving roles.
Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS)
PGCSS is the core of VA’s Caregiver Support Program (CSP). The program provides peer support mentoring, skills training, coaching, telephone support, online programs, and referrals to available resources to caregivers of Veterans. The Veteran must be enrolled in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and be receiving assistance from a caregiver in order for the caregiver to participate.
Click Here to learn how to Enroll.
Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC)
PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support and services for caregivers of eligible Veterans who have a serious injury (or illness) and require in-person personal care services among other requirements.
To learn more about the program, see our PCAFC Overview Video
To learn more about the how to apply, see our PCAFC Application Video
Services Provided Through (PGCSS):
VA S.A.V.E. is a skills training that provides information and steps that anyone can take when a Veteran may be at risk for suicide. S.A.V.E. stands for signs, ask, validate, encourage and expedite. Caregivers play an important role in suicide prevention. They may be the first to notice changes in the Veteran or may be the one that a Veteran turns to when having suicidal thoughts. It is important that caregivers have the tools they need to intervene. S.A.V.E. provides simple steps that anyone can take when talking with Veterans at risk for suicide. VA SAVE Training (PDF)
Building Better Caregivers (BBC)
Building Better Caregivers (BBC) is an online six-week workshop that helps caregivers in two key ways: training in how to provide better care, and helping caregivers learn how to manage their own emotions, stress and physical health. After the workshop, you can stay connected to other caregivers through the alumni community. This service is free and secure. Connect with other caregivers today! Read the BBC Fact Sheet (pdf) to learn more.
Annie Caregiver Text Program
Annie, the VA’s text messaging service, has several text programs for caregivers. Caregivers can receive messages to help them manage stress, take better care of themselves, manage dementia behaviors, and cope with bereavement. Messages may be educational, motivational or an activity to manage stress. You may stop the service at any time. Caregivers need a phone capable of text messaging to enroll. Contact VA Fargo Caregiver Support Program at the contact information above to receive Annie messages. Or reach out to our My HealtheVet Program Manager at 701-232-3241 Ext. 4420 to help enroll.
Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health (REACH) VA
You can participate in REACH VA via individual sessions. Connect with a coach who will provide you with a workbook and help you with a variety of issues caregivers face. They will coach you in stress management, problem solving, self-care and healthy behaviors, as well as Veteran safety, behaviors, problems or concerns linked to a diagnosis. Your assigned coach will call you for a total of four sessions, over a two to three-month period. If you participate in support groups, you and other caregivers will meet together with a coach. The same REACH sessions and training will occur during six group sessions over three to six months. Learn more about the REACH VA Program.
Caregiver Health & Wellbeing Coaching
Whole Health is VA’s cutting-edge approach to care and supports your health and well-being. It centers around what matters to you, not what is the matter with you. A Caregiver Health & Wellbeing Coach is your personal guide who works with you to develop a personalized health plan based on your values, needs, and goals. The Caregiver Health & Wellbeing Coach uses the Circle of Health visual tool to help explore connections between important aspects of your life and a self-assessment tool known as the Personal Health inventory to help you create your Personal Health Plan. Caregiver Health & Wellbeing Coaches are trained to draw on your strengths and values to optimize your efforts towards achieving your aspirations.
- Compassionate Contact Corps – Volunteer Telephone Visitor Program – A volunteer can be paired with the Veteran or caregiver to provide support through friendly visiting.
- Volunteer In-Home Visitor Program – A volunteer can be paired with the Veteran or caregiver to provide support through in-home friendly visiting. This program is currently only available in Fargo and Grand Forks.
Mindfulness Sessions offered throughout the year.
Group Support and Coaching
Virtual Caregiver Support Groups are offered by VA Fargo in-person, virtually, or by phone:
- First Tuesday of the month 1730 – 1900.
- Second Thursday of the month 1030-1200.
Third Wednesday of the month 1300- 1430.
Caregiver Self-Care/Resilience Courses
Caregiver Self-Care courses are in-person or virtual group trainings provided to caregivers with a focus on supporting and meeting their needs. The classes are led by trained facilitators. In these fun and interactive sessions, you might learn about managing stress or coping with your emotions. You may learn a new relaxation technique such as meditation or qigong, or you may listen to music or practice Zen doodling.
Caregivers FIRST (Caregivers Finding Important Resources, Support, and Training), is an evidence-based skills training program for caregivers of Veterans of all eras and diagnoses. Caregivers FIRST is a highly adaptable grab-and-go curriculum package that includes a series of four proactive group classes to help caregivers build self-care and psychological coping, health system navigation, and hands-on clinical skills. Classes held virtually or in person.
Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health (REACH) VA
You can participate in REACH VA via group sessions. Connect with a coach who will provide you with a workbook and help you with a variety of issues caregivers face. They will coach you in stress management, problem solving, self-care and healthy behaviors, as well as Veteran safety, behaviors, problems or concerns linked to a diagnosis. Your assigned coach will call you for a total of four sessions, over a two to three-month period. If you participate in support groups, you and a coach and other caregivers will meet together. The same REACH sessions and training will occur during six group sessions over three to six months. Learn more about the REACH VA Program.
Peer Support Mentoring Program
The Caregiver Peer Support Mentoring (PSM) program was developed to strengthen relationships between caregivers, to provide an opportunity for networking and to empower caregivers to help one another. PSM provides an opportunity for caregivers to receive guidance and to share their experience, wisdom, skills and passion with other caregivers.
In addition to providing support, PSM also helps caregivers to establish relationships with each other and create a comfort zone for support. Learn more about PSM by reading the fact sheet below.
VA Caregiver Connect
With the United States Department of Veterans Affairs’ VA Video Connect app, Veterans can quickly and easily meet with their VA care team over a secure and private video connection using your smartphone, tablet, or computer. And with the Caregiver Connect scheduling option, Veterans can invite up to five guests, such as their caregiver or family member, to attend their VA video telehealth visits. Please visit VA Telehealth Services | Telehealth VA to learn more.
Respite care is a program that pays for care for a short time when family caregivers need a break, need to run errands, or need to go out of town for a few days. Respite Care can be helpful to Veterans of all ages, and their caregivers.
Why is Respite Care important?
Self-care is important for caregivers. Respite care can be a resource to help prevent burn-out and allow you time to take care of your own needs with the comfort of knowing your Veteran is in a safe and caring environment.
VA Respite Care
Respite care through VA is offered by the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC). Visit GEC’s webpage for more information about respite care for caregivers: https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/Respite_Care.asp.
VA Fargo Caregiver Support Team is knowledgeable about the various resources available to caregivers both at VA and in the community. We can connect you with resources based on your individual needs. Please reach out to us at the contact information above.
CSP Resource Fairs
Caregiver and Family Resource Fairs, provided through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Caregiver Support Program (CSP), offer caregivers the opportunity to find a wealth of support from a variety agencies, organizations and non-profits. Caregivers also find the fairs helpful in broadening their networks. Upcoming resource fairs will be listed above under our calendar events.
Services Provided Through (PCAFC):
Veterans can designate one (1) Primary Family Caregiver and up to two (2) Secondary Family Caregivers on the application. Secondary Family Caregivers serve as a backup support to the Primary Family Caregiver when needed. Services will depend on whether you are the Primary Family Caregiver or a Secondary Family Caregiver.
If you are the primary caregiver, you may receive:
- All of the services offered through PGCSS
- A monthly stipend (paid directly to you as the caregiver.)
- Access to health care insurance through Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA), if you do not already have health insurance.
- Mental health counseling.
- Certain beneficiary travel benefits when traveling with the Veteran to appointments. For specific details, please contact the VA Fargo Caregiver Support Team at the number provided above for more information.
- At least 30 days of respite care per year, for the Veteran. Respite is short term relief for someone else to care for the Veteran while you take a break.
- If you are not enrolled in PCAFC, please call your primary care team.