Thursday, March 22, 2012

Caregiver Assessment

Recently I applied to become my husband's official Caregiver through the VA.  Click here to read about the program.  It's a newer program designed to offer support and official recognition of those who care for our wounded warriors.  There are benefits involved, including medical insurance if you don't already have it, counseling, and a monthly stipend.  Since I resigned from my job to stay home to care for my husband, this benefit was especially appealing.

So far, the process has been painless.  We applied and have a coordinator at the local VA who has helped with answering questions about the process and letting me know what to expect.  I've finished up the online training and today was our in-home assessment.  The assessment made me a little nervous, because I wasn't sure what to expect.  Turns out, it was also painless and quick.

A nurse came over this morning to do the assessment.  She sat down with me and asked me a series of questions covering a variety of topics.  Some didn't apply to me (wound care, foley husband has no physical injuries) but some did.  At first, she spoke to me by myself but then I called up Hubs from the basement because it was easier for her to see him herself to answer questions.  For instance, one question was if he had an ambulatory needs.  Watching him walk into the room without any help answered that one, for example.

After she talked to us together, Hubs went back downstairs while I answered some questions alone.  It was a burden scale, to see how big of a burden I felt caring for him.  I hated that part.  The scale went something like "rarely, sometimes, most of the time, always" and I answered most of them with sometimes.  Yes, sometimes I am stressed.  Sometimes I do feel like it's all on me.  She told me I got a 7 and one more point would have put me at being "stressed".  I don't know how I feel about that.  I explained some days are stressful, some days not that bad.  Thus, sometimes.  Had I gotten into the "stressed" range, I don't know what that would have meant.

The visit was short.  She was here about a half hour tops.  I had my house cleaned yesterday just so everything would be fresh and sparkly for her visit, and she didn't even leave the living room.  Oh well, at least my house is clean.  I recommend writing down the things you do for your veteran beforehand.  I did and it was nice to be able to refer to my list.  I actually didn't realize what all I do for my husband until I started writing it down.  The bonus was at the end, she took the paper with her to refer to so I'm glad I did it.  Just a suggestion if you apply.

The nurse said she'd see me in 3 months, so guess that's a good sign.  I asked what was next in the process and she said she'd give all the data to the coordinator and he'd be in touch with me via a phone call.  I dont think it will take that much longer to get it all nailed down.  I think am going to get something.  I already took the caregiver training and I can't see them having me do that unless I qualified for something.

Any other questions let me know.  I'll keep you updated on the conclusion of this process.

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