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Caregiver support

We offer several services to support you and the Veteran you care for. Ask a caregiver support coordinator to help you find what you need, whether it's in-home help, someone to listen, or anything in between.


The Caregiver Support program is two separate programs, the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) and the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). Visit Caregiver Support Program - Two Programs: What’s the Difference?  to learn more about the differences between both programs.

Connect with a support coordinator

Emily Nelson

Emily Nelson MSW, LCSW

General Caregiver Support program coordinator

Lovell Federal health care

Phone: 224-610-2273



Care we provide

If you are a caregiver for a Veteran, you can get support. We can help with:

  • Getting caregiver assistance available through VA
  • Matching you with services and benefits 
  • Connecting you with local resources and programs

Supportive services for enrollees

  • In-person and virtual support groups
  • Building Better Caregiver (6-week online workshop)
  • Caregivers FIRST and powerful tools for caregivers
  • Monthly Caregiver Support Line education calls
  • Individual supportive counseling referrals for caregivers
  • REACH VA (individual coaching)
  • Peer support mentoring
  • Annie Text program
  • S.A.V.E. suicide prevention training
  • Caregiver health and well-being coaching

Caregiver Support Center

A place family caregivers can go during Veteran’s appointments to relax. The Caregiver Center is staffed by a trained volunteer, who can provide more information on the Caregiver Support program. Please feel to stop by the center for information, a complimentary snack, tea, coffee, or to relax by the fireplace.

The Caregiver Support Center is located at:

Building 133EF, Room 2A-117 (right across from surgery)
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

VA National Caregiver Support Line (CSL)

The CSL is staffed by VA clinical social workers who respond to calls from caregivers, Veterans, and community agencies seeking information about VA caregiver services. Social workers provide information about assistance through the VA, offer supportive counseling and link callers to local contacts.

Call the CSL at 1- to learn more about the support available to you and for assistance connecting with the caregiver support team at your local VA Medical Center.

Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST

The CSL also offers monthly telephone education calls for caregivers with a theme of “care for the caregiver.” The topics change monthly and scripts and audio recordings of the calls can be found on the CSP website.

Annie caregiver text support

Annie is a text messaging service that promotes self-care for caregivers of Veterans. Annie provides support via text messaging to caregivers. Messages may be educational, motivational, or an activity. Messages are available for stress, bereavement, or dementia behaviors. You may pause or stop the service at any time.

Download the app: Annie for Veterans | VA Mobile

Building Better Caregivers (BBC)

A six week online workshop for caregivers of Veterans of all eras who are caring for someone with dementia, memory problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, a serious brain injury, or any other serious injury or illness. BBC helps caregivers in two keyways: training in how to provide better care and helping caregivers learn how to manage their own emotions, stress and physical health.

Caregiver self-care courses

Courses are in-person or virtual trainings provided to groups of caregivers with a focus on supporting and meeting the needs of caregivers. The classes are led by trained facilitators and are offered in English and Spanish.

Topics include:

  • Managing stress
  • Problem solving and effective communication
  • Taking care of yourself
  • Handling emotions
  • Lowering stress, improving mood.

Three resilience courses are offered by telephone:

  • Self-discovery
  • Self-compassion
  • Self-care for the caregiver

Peer support mentoring

Provides an opportunity for caregivers to receive guidance and to share their experiences, wisdom, skills, and passion with other caregivers. The program was developed to strengthen relationships between caregivers, to provide an opportunity for networking and to empower caregivers to help one another.

REACH VA intervention

Resources for Enhancing All Caregivers Health (REACH) is an evidenced-based intervention that is delivered by VA clinical staff to provide support to stressed and burdened caregivers of any Veteran from any era, with special focus on caregivers of Veterans with:

  • Dementia
  • Spinal cord injury/disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Spouses of post 9/11 Veterans

REACH VA can be provided to an individual caregiver or as a telephone support group by staff at VA facilities. Caregivers of Veterans and Veterans providing care can also be referred to the Caregiver Center to receive the individual REACH VA program.

Spanish-speaking telephone support group caregiver calls

Quarterly Spanish-speaking calls for all-era participants. Call topics are:

  • Program interview
  • VA benefits
  • VA navigation
  • Caregiver perspectives on caregiving

Suicide prevention toolkit for caregivers

This toolkit provides education to caregivers of Veterans, including facts about:

  • Suicide prevention
  • Mental health
  • Substance use disorder treatment

In addition, it provides self-care resources and describes when to reach out for help.

VA Video Connect (VVC)

VVC is a VA application that allows Veterans and caregivers to meet face-to-face with VA health care providers in virtual medical rooms. The application uses encrypted video that is secure and private. VVC provides a flexible option for meeting with providers and caregiver support coordinators. It’s time-efficient and convenient.