Courtney Van Houtven: November 21, 2017

Building a Nation of Caregivers

VA Medical Centers Provides a System-Wide Standard of Care for Eligible Veterans 

Courtney Van Houtven, PhD, MSc

Research Scientist, Health Services Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs

America is becoming a nation of caregivers. In the last year an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care to an adult or a child. The majority of caregivers are female, but 40 percent are male. Providing quality care to America’s Veterans doesn’t end with the Veteran himself or herself. It extends to the family member or loved one who tends to the everyday needs of a disabled, chronically ill, or aging Veteran: the caregiver.

Whether supervising a spouse to help keep him or her from wandering, assisting with activities of daily living, helping to develop and implement treatment plans, or managing a loved one’s behavioral symptoms, the demands of caregiving leave many caregivers anxious, depressed, or susceptible to chronic illness themselves.

VA facilities also offer programs including in-home care; specialized education and training; respite care; equipment, home, and automobile modification; and financial assistance for eligible Veterans. Every VA medical center has a caregiver support coordinator to help link up caregivers and Veterans with available VA and non-VA support resources. It is estimated that there are 5.5 million caregivers of Veterans in the US.

Dr. Courtney Van Houtven from the VA in Durham, NC is available for you and your listeners on Tuesday, November 21st, to discuss caregiving and how the VA puts in place a standard system of care for our Veterans.

For more information please visit: www.research.va.gov

More About Dr. Courtney Van Houtven:

Courtney Van Houtven, PhD, MSc, is a Research Scientist in Health Services Research and Development in Primary Care at the Durham VA. She is also a Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences at Duke University Medical Center.  She has led the VA Caregiver Support Program Partnered Evaluation Center which evaluates the impact of the VA Caregiver Support Program on Veteran healthcare utilization & costs and caregiver health & well-being outcomes since June 2014.  She also co-leads the Optimizing Function and Independence research initiative which will implement a caregiver skills training program at 8 VA Medical Centers nationally. Dr. Van Houtven’s aging and economics research interests encompass how family caregiving affects health care utilization, expenditures, health, and wealth outcomes of care recipients and caregivers.

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