Orlando VA Medical Center
VA to Take Applications for New Caregiver Program
On Tuesday, May 10, 2011 staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published the interim final rule for implementing the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act 2010. This new rule will provide additional support to eligible post-9/11 Veterans who elect to receive their care in a home setting from a primary Family Caregiver.
“Family Caregivers play an integral role in improving the health of our Veterans and I encourage caregivers to apply for these services,” said Timothy W. Liezert, Orlando VA Medical Center director. “The new program builds on the foundation of Caregiver support now provided at VA and reflects what families and clinicians have long known; that Family Caregivers in a home environment can enhance the health and well-being of Veterans under VA care.”
Additional services for primary Family Caregivers of eligible post-9/11 Veterans and Servicemembers include a stipend, mental health services, and access to health care insurance, if they are not already entitled to care or services under a health care plan. Comprehensive Caregiver training and medical support are other key components of this program.
Veterans and their Family Caregivers can apply for the new services starting May 9 at www.caregiver.va.gov. Mearlene Filkins, the Orlando VA Medical Center Caregiver Support coordinator, is also available to assist with the application process and direct Veterans and their Family Caregivers to more than two dozen other programs VA offers Family Caregivers for support.
“I am excited to be in this new role and offer caregivers the support they so much deserve,” said Filkins.
Assistance and information on additional resources are also available to Family Caregivers through VA’s National Caregiver Support Line, 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Veterans and Caregivers with questions about the new program can contact Filkins at (407) 646-4055.