Rural Veterans have distinct challenges compared to their urban counterparts. Below is a partial list of resources to connect you to the support and services required to support your long-term health and well-being.
Lifeline Program for Veteran families in need of voice connectivity services
National Resource Directory
Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs)
VA Caregiver Support Website
If you are a Veteran or a Veteran’s caregiver and need information or services, watch our short VA Caregiver Support Line video and contact 855-260-3274 to reach a licensed, independent social worker.
Free Transportation Support - Veterans who need a ride should contact the Veterans Transportation Mobility Manager at their local VA medical center. Veterans or caregivers can go to the Veterans Transportation Service website and click on the appropriate state or scroll down the page to find the contact information at participating VA medical centers.
Substance Use Disorder - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Telemental Health Center (NTMHC) funds a national consultation service for Veterans with risky substance use or substance use disorder. Contact AskTheExpert-SubstanceUseDisorder@va.gov for more information. (Disclaimer: This link directs to an internal VA site. You must have access to the VA network to view this page)
Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) - Learn more about this grant opportunity, which provides medically necessary improvements and structural alterations to Veterans/Servicemembers’ primary residence.
Racial and Ethnic Minority Health: Debunking COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
Women's Health: Debunking COVID-19 Vaccine Myths
Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
Watch videos spotlighting Veterans who use Gerofit, a supervised telehealth exercise program for older Veterans.
To educate and aid Veteran caregivers, the Office of Rural Health funded the following caregiver video series, each of which are broken up into modules on specific topics. If you would like a DVD copy of the modules, or if you have questions or feedback, please call 801-582-1565 ext. 2770 or email the Veterans Rural Health Resource Center - Salt Lake City and mention the specific video module title(s) as shown below in blue.
Tips for Dementia Caregivers
Improving Communication in Dementia:
It can be difficult to have a meaningful conversation with someone who has memory or language problems because of dementia. People with memory or language problems can have difficulty following and participating in a conversation, but there are ways to make communication easier. This video highlights some practical tips to improve communication with a person with dementia.
Improving Communication in Dementia
Intimacy in Dementia:
The behavioral changes that come with advancing dementia can have a huge impact on relationships, especially as emotional closeness slowly changes due to both dementia itself and the demands of caregiving. The effect of these changes on intimacy can be especially difficult for a spouse or partner. This video portrays ways to maintain non-sexual intimate connections with your loved one.
Intimacy in Dementia
How Much to Help in Dementia:
Changes to cognition and memory affect what individuals can do independently. For people with dementia, completing familiar tasks, like cooking or managing medications becomes more difficult. It can be difficult for family members to know when they should take over or provide assistance. This video illustrates some examples of how to balance promoting independence for your loved and knowing when to step in to help.
How Much to Help in Dementia
Addressing Major Safety Risks in Dementia:
Oftentimes there are safety hazards that family members don’t recognize as potential problems in the home of someone with dementia. This video portrays a couple identifying and addressing safety concerns after the spouse with dementia attempts to prepare food on the stove and starts a kitchen fire. Safety tips are provided to address common safety issues around the home, including safe storage of firearms.
Addressing Major Safety Risks in Dementia
Preventing Financial Mismanagement in Dementia:
From missed bill payments, impulsive spending, and possible financial exploitation, this video portrays some of the challenges a person with dementia may encounter when they manage their finances independently. This video provides tips for dementia caregivers on how to protect assets by sharing responsibility for managing money, limiting access to money, and tips for fraud prevention.
Preventing Financial Mismanagement in Dementia
Minimizing Inappropriate Behavior in Dementia:
Going out in public with someone with dementia can be challenging because your loved one may say or do things that are embarrassing, strange or unpredictable. This video portrays a wife taking her husband out in public to enjoy a meal together. The husband has dementia and makes several rude and inappropriate comments to strangers. The wife explains that his behavior is because he has dementia. The film highlights tips to remember when taking someone out in public, especially when your loved one may behave inappropriately to others.
Minimizing Inappropriate Behavior in Dementia
Medication Issues for People with Dementia:
Caregivers frequently have to manage medications for their loved ones with dementia. However, this task can be very challenging. This video portrays different approaches for caregivers to organize and store medications, handle medication refusal and create medication lists. The video also discusses common issues individuals with dementia face, such as difficulty swallowing medications.
Medication Issues for People with Dementia
Recognizing and Managing Pain in People with Dementia:
Pain and generalized discomfort is often an overlooked source of irritability and aggression in people with dementia. This video portrays methods for caregivers to recognize the signs of pain or discomfort, monitor pain, side effects of pain medications, and how to manage pain without medications when possible.
Recognizing and Managing Pain in People with Dementia
Engaging People with Dementia in Meaningful Activities:
People with dementia lose their ability to plan things on their own, leaving caregivers to help engage their loved one in activities that are meaningful. This video encourages caregivers to establish a consistent but flexible routine, to set realistic expectations, and to discover activities that provide a sense of accomplishment for the person with dementia.
Engaging People with Dementia in Meaningful Activities
Series Two: “Managing Dementia Behaviors: ABC’s for Caregivers”
Most people with dementia experience behavioral changes as their condition progresses, which can become challenging and distressing for caregivers to manage. This video series portrays Teri and Frank, a couple coping with Frank’s progressing dementia, to illustrate ways to communicate with and get help for someone with dementia. The series also teaches the ABC Model, a method that caregivers can apply most behavioral troublesome or frustrating behaviors associated with dementia to help reduce or eliminate them.
Communicating with Someone with Dementia
Teri learns how to better communicate with Frank.
Understanding the ABC’s of Dementia Behaviors
Teri attends a workshop to learn the ABC Model, a method used to eliminate or reduce behavioral problems in dementia.
ABC’s of Dementia Behavior: Scenario #1
Teri applies the ABC Model to Frank’s behavior.
ABC’s of Dementia Behavior: Scenario #2
Teri applies the ABC Model to Frank’s behavior.
ABC’s of Dementia Behavior: Scenario #3
Teri applies the ABC Model to Frank’s behavior.
Series One: “Information and Support for In-Home Dementia Caregivers”
Follow Harold and Margaret as they face common issues surrounding dementia in-home care, including home safety, legal matters, problem behaviors, and relaxation techniques. View the series of 20 modules broken into specific topics below.
Communicating with Your Doctor
Helping Harold & Margaret understand the stages of dementia.
Overview of Dementia
Nurse defines three stages of dementia.
Caring for the Caregiver
Margaret realizes she can’t face caregiving alone.
Margaret meets other caregivers and starts to share her story.
Margaret and Annie learn techniques to help them cope.
Visualization of Relaxation Techniques
Abbreviated version of Relaxation Techniques
Self-Care for the Caregiver
Nurse explains the importance of relaxation techniques and tending to caregivers’ physical and mental health.
Harold’s memory continues to decline and the family must face the legal issues around having a degenerative, chronic illness.
Facing Legal Issues
Nurse outlines legal and medical documents that are necessary to prepare for future care, end of life issues, power of attorney etc.
Both Margaret and Harold are having a hard time understanding each other. Margaret realizes she needs to change the way she talks to Harold.
Harold is now in the moderate stage of dementia. He has trouble walking and slips and falls on an area rug. Margaret makes several changes around the house.
Home Safety Tips
Nurse goes into detail about home safety.
Harold experiences a hallucination. He gets frightened and seriously agitated. Margaret can’t handle him.
Dealing with Problem Behaviors
Nurse explains problem behaviors common in moderate and severe stages of dementia. She offers tips to help with difficult behaviors.
Finding Caregiver Assistance
Given his worsening condition and agitation, Margaret can no longer care for Harold alone. She has to decide what to do next.
Resources for Caregivers
Nurse explains in detail the resources caregivers can use to find the help they need.
Implementing a Daily Plan
Now that Margaret has help, she can create a daily routine for Harold based on his tastes and lifetime habits.
Dealing with Incontinence
Harold has an accident in his bed overnight. He’s ashamed and anxious. Margaret must learn the steps to help decrease accidents.
Harold often says he wants to go home. One day he leaves the house and wanders for several hours before the police find him and bring him home.
Choosing a Nursing Facility
As Harold declines, Margaret recognizes she can’t care for him at home any longer. She looks for a facility that can give Harold 24/7 care.
Caregiving in a Nursing Home
Harold’s family moves him to a nursing home. Margaret realizes that even with 24/7 care, she can still contribute a great deal to his care.