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VA Boston Healthcare System

 

Caregiver Support

VA Caregiver Support

 

 

 

 

 

VA ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Caregiver Telephone Support Group:

The Boston VA hosts a telephone support group specifically for caregivers of veterans with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:00-7:00pm. This telephone group has an open format that allows for caregivers to connect with one another and talk about what is on their minds at that time, including strategies, resources, self-care, etc. Caregivers from all over New England are welcome.

If you are interested in participating in this support call or have any questions please call Naomi Turbidy, ALS Coordinator at 857-364-6964.

VA Building Better Caregivers: Web-based Support Group:

This six week workshop helps Caregivers in two key ways: it offers training in how to provide better care, and it also helps Caregivers learn how to manage their own emotions, stress and physical health. Topics covered include:

• managing your stress,
• communicating more effectively,
• taking care of your own health,
• managing difficult emotions,
• managing difficult behaviors,
• and getting support from other Caregivers while sharing your experience.
Caregivers are asked to log on at least 2-3 times per week. A new session will be posted each week, and you will be able to participate with 20-25 Caregivers.

VA Building Better Caregivers

If you are interested in participating in the above program or have any questions please call Julia Lehmann, LICSW, at 774-826-1296 OR Renee Gallagher, LICSW at 617-248-1159

VA Peer Support Mentor Program

This program provides an opportunity for Caregivers to receive guidance and to share their experience, wisdom, skills and passion with other Caregivers.  Because there are many challenges to being a Caregiver, it can be helpful for you to talk with someone who has “been there” and understands the pressures that come with being a Caregiver.

You can serve as a MENTOR or a MENTEE.  Caregivers are asked to connect with each other at least 2 times per month.

Support Mentor Program 

If you are interested in participating in the above program or have any questions please call Julia Lehmann, LICSW, at 774-826-1296 OR Renee Gallagher, LICSW at 617-248-1159

VA Caregiver Support Line Monthly Educational Calls:
A telephone educational group focused on strategies to enhance resilience and restore balance. These calls last an hour and are available twice a month.

If you are interested in participating in the above program or have any questions please call Julia Lehmann, LICSW, at 774-826-1296 OR Renee Gallagher, LICSW at 617-248-1159

My Life My Health Program 
VA Boston is offering the Stanford University My Life My Health program (also known as Chronic Disease Self-Management), which is designed to help individuals (veterans and caregivers) with chronic health issues. It is a research-supported standardized curriculum that was developed by Stanford University. This class meets for 2 ½ hours once a week for 6 weeks to discuss and develop skills around:

• Managing symptoms
• Taking medication
• Working with your healthcare team
• Setting weekly goals
• Problem-solving
• Relaxation & coping with difficult emotions
• Healthy eating
• Communication
• Improving Quality of Life

If you are interested in participating in the above program or have any questions please call Karen Harnois at 774-826-2110 to find out when and where the next program will be held.

VA Multiple Sclerosis Family and Caregiver Conference Call: 

The VA Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence host a family member and Caregiver conference call the fourth Monday of each month from 2:00-3:00 p.m. The call will offer a variety of educational topics, resources, and allow for family members and Caregivers to connect with one another to share their unique stories.

If you are interested in participating in this call or have any questions please contact Alicia Sloan, LICSW at 1-800-329-8387 x63593.

COMMUNITY OPPORTUNITIES:

Family-to-Family Program: This program is facilitated by the Massachusetts chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. The Family-to-Family Program is a 12 week course for family Caregivers of individuals with severe mental illness.  You can find additional information by visiting: http://www.namimass.org/. If you would like to register for this course, please contact the Family Education and Support Programs Coordinator, Karen McGravey-Gajera at 617-580-8541.

JF&CS Memory Café is a welcoming place for individuals & families living with memory changes.  Enjoy coffee, and refreshments, and conversation with new friends, including college students.  Meet guest artists who will lead music, art, or poetry activities. No experience necessary!  The Memory Café meets on the first Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to noon, except on major holidays, and is located at 1430 Main Street, Waltham.   There is no charge, but donations are gratefully accepted.   For more information, please contact Beth Soltzberg at bsoltzberg@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5628. /BOSTON/services/caregiver/MemoryCafeflyer.pdf 

Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274

Caregiver Services

VA offers a number of services that can provide you with the support that's right for you. Whether you and the Veteran you care for could use some help at home or you just need someone to listen, we're here to support you. Follow the link to learn more about the variety of services available to Family Caregivers.

Caring for Seriously Injured Post-9/11 Veterans

Services for Family Caregivers of Post-9/11 Veterans

If you are the Family Caregiver of a Veteran who was injured post-9/11, you may be eligible for additional services through VA, including a stipend, comprehensive training and medical coverage through VA if you are not already covered by a plan. Follow the link to learn more about the services and to see if you are currently eligible.

Find your Caregiver Support Coordinator

Questions?

Have questions about VA Caregiver Support Services? Contact VA's Caregiver Support Line (1-855-260-3274) or your local Caregiver Support Coordinator for assistance.

Contact

Renee Gallagher LICSW
Caregiver Spt. Coor.
Jamaica Plain, Brockton, West Roxbury
617-248-1159

Julia Lehmann LICSW
Caregiver Spt. Coor.
Jamaica Plain, Brockton, West Roxbury
774-826-1296

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Caregiver Support: 855-260-3274