It’s taken us 17 years to have a great VA care team. I’ve noticed that with every new law passed, more layers of accountability are required by the VA which is ultimately passed down to the veteran and family.
For instance, the expansion of the VA Caregiver Act (PCAFC) created a larger department in our local VA to serve caregivers.
This is great, except they are required to have a certain number of meetings with the veteran and family annually. Which is great. Except so is the VA Home Base Health Care Team which we are a part of as well. Which is great too.
Except, that means that we have to have more meetings covering the same information for them to fulfill their job accountability and requirements. That means we are repeating information, and making time for the required redundant appointments which often creates more stress for the caregiver and veteran to coordinate those meetings.
While grateful about all the offerings of support, it is actually adding a burden. Our goal with the veteran in our life is progress. In our minds, this means less “check in” appointments that ask the same questions and more time to integrate back into daily living that supports and encourages healing.
Which leaves me wondering. Were veterans and caregivers included on the development of these laws and programs? I know if we had been in the conversation, both in co-creating the law and developing the program, we would have asked to minimize and consolidate calls. Check in with us once or twice a year as one team and if we need to reach out for more, we will do so.
Sometimes we automatically get frustrated at the “messenger” (the VA) and not the one who sent the message (the lawmakers). This is worth examining for the well being of the veteran as well as an optimal and efficient system of care. What do you think?
November 15, 2022