Special report: Veterans can now get caregiver support services and medical equipment for free

only on News five tonight the VA has come under fire in recent years for making veterans wait months and in some cases years to get health care services but News 5 investigates has discovered a relatively new program to help vets get the care they need without the hassle of waiting here’s chief investigative reporter Eric Ross the veteran in charge program or Vick does not replace VA benefits but rather supplements them it allows veterans to get caregiver support meal deliveries and even medical equipment for free our goal is to really keep veterans in their home and in their community Marsha Unruh with the independence center oversees a unique program helping disabled veterans live as independently as possible three things we see mostly from veterans are I want to live in my home in community I want to be independent I want to stay here until I die Bart laundry and Marilyn Mathis believe the VA is trying to improve healthcare let’s say it’s a slow process they try to help as much as they possibly can but their schedule and their workload has impaired me I I’m not you know I can’t call them every day and say hey look I gotta come down and see you VA does not have anybody comes out and check on me they will call me not they’ll call me and say okay how are you doing with blah blah blah both veterans turn to the independence center in Colorado Springs for help and enrolled in the veteran and charge program one of the benefits free medical equipment Bart was able to get a special lift chair to help him live independently at home the program also funded a stair glider chair for Marilyn veterans do not have to pay anything for this the VA determines eligibility if you’re a veteran in the Pikes Peak region and already receive benefits from the VA all you have to do is apply for the veteran & charge initiative in addition to providing medical and accessibility equipment the program also allows veterans to choose their own caregivers caregivers can be their spouses they can be their children they can be their neighbors relatives whatever and typically they’re already taking care of that veteran and not being paid and so here the veteran can decide I want to hire my wife or my my son or my daughter to come in and help out with this and receive a paycheck and the first person came to my mind was my daughter she’s in Florida and what a better way for her to be out here with me and to help me at the same time Marilyn says prior to enrolling in the program she had random healthcare workers take care of her but even then she felt like a prisoner in her own home I couldn’t go for a ride in the car with them or they couldn’t take me shopping they had to go and do it for me so I was still kind of cooped up at home and with my daughter yeah she takes me to do my grocery shopping to my doctor’s of what miss she says the program has given her a new lease on life at a time when she felt depressed and hopeless Marilyn says without help from the independence center and the Vick program I wouldn’t be here I would just sit down there and just disappeared out of a chair no one would ever know that I was in chair I just because my self-esteem had started to falling and given away and it was like I didn’t care life didn’t matter to me but they stepped in and they knock some sense into me okay caregivers support and medical equipment are just two perks the program offers it also provides help with transportation adult day care and better access to medical professionals I get on the phone and say hey I’m not feeling well I got a problem can someone help me and I got a contact the VA does try their best but they’re not always there to help when you need someone so far only about 100 veterans have taken advantage of the program through the independence center it’s a relatively low number compared to the veteran population in the Pikes Peak region but Marilyn and others want you to know help is available if you need it all I can say is I’m blessed I’m just truly blessed and I plan on passing the word on and blessing somebody else and if you need help enrolling in the program we have everything you need to know posted for you right now on our website koat.com you’ll find this story on our home page watching out for veterans era cross news 5 investigates

1 comment

  1. Nope. I have a 100% P & T son and a 100% P & T son-in-law. Both served multiple and very real combat tours. Both have CAB's. One has a Purple Heart too. They were NCO's. One was an E-5 and the other an E-6. Caregiver program says "no" to both of them. A friend missing a leg, he has a Purple Heart too was also told "no". Caregiver program is very rigidly controlled. Good luck determining the AOL criteria. Does not matter how bad off the guys are, they are going to be told "no". Part of the overall difficulty of being a Vet in good ole America. In disgust: DRS / RVN Vet.

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