WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, today applauded recently announced Department of Veterans Affairs pilot programs to improve support for families and other caregivers of veterans. These programs, which will receive nearly $5 million in grant monies this year, stem from legislation championed by Senator Akaka, included in the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006. The new caregiver programs include a pilot program in Hawaii targeting veterans on the Neighbor Islands and rural Oahu.
Senator Akaka stated: "Families and other caregivers are on the front lines of our fight to care for veterans who have served this nation bravely. I applaud the development of these pilot programs to provide caregivers with better education, training, and other resources.
"Neighbor Island and rural Oahu veterans, and their caregivers, face access issues that compound other challenges. I appreciate VA's recognition of their situation, as well as the VA Hawaii staff's efforts in developing the Hawaii pilot program."
The Hawaii pilot program, which has been awarded a $507,000 grant, will provide caregivers and veterans with services that include adult-day health care; coordination of readjustment and rehabilitation services; transportation; caregiver education, training and certification; home care; respite care; hospice care; and other forms of non-institutional long-term care. In addition, the pilot will use a "medical foster home" model of care, in which veterans are welcomed into the homes of caregivers who provide around-the-clock care.