Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Caregivers sometimes unaware of support available

Caregiver Stacey Rivera and Navy Wounded Warrior staff canoe around Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam during the Military Caregiver Workshop. (Photo by Gabrielle Arias, Peer Support Coordinator, DHA Recovery Care Program, San Diego) Caregiver Stacey Rivera and Navy Wounded Warrior staff canoe around Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam during the Military Caregiver Workshop. (Photo by Gabrielle Arias, Peer Support Coordinator, DHA Recovery Care Program, San Diego)

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Friday, Feb. 21 is National Caregivers Day. This day is observed on the third Friday of each February to recognize and honor caregivers who deliver a variety of personal, medical, or military care services.

The military departments and Defense Health Agency provide a variety of resources to support the caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured service members. Hawaii-based caregiver Stacey Rivera received support and learned new coping and self-care skills through DHA’s Recovery Coordination Program.

At the time, Rivera was a senior enlisted active duty Army service member. She became a caregiver after a motorcycle accident suffered by her husband on a highway on the island of Oahu. Severe injuries to his brain, spine, back, and legs resulted, requiring a lengthy stay in the hospital.

Over the next year and a half, Rivera stood by his side. She became, as she put it, “everything to him, his therapist, his life coach, his nurse, his financial manager” as well as “his best friend and wife.” At the same time, she balanced her Army career. She lacked time for self-care or to “even slow down” and think about anything other than his needs. The severity of his injuries made multiple spinal fusions necessary.

Personalized Experiences, Engagement, and Resources (PEER) Support Coordinator Gabriella Arias assisted Rivera with follow-up. They had met at the regional quarterly Military Caregiver Workshop, which focuses on self-care and caregiver resources. There, Rivera learned new coping and self-care skills from Operation Family Caregiver. The skills included canoeing, pottery painting, and practicing yoga and meditation.

In her role as a PEER support coordinator, Arias checks in with Rivera weekly. It’s one of many roles for a PEER support coordinator. They assist in holding military caregiver PEER forums and other outreach activities. They identify and report on gaps in support. They also assist in finding information on military caregiver support services, and act as the point of contact for the region. 

In the Recovery Coordination Program, Rivera learned she has a support network to meet her needs as a caregiver. The workshop gave her tools for coping along with much-needed support. She was also made aware of other resources, such as the Caregiver Resource Directory and the National Resource Directory (NRD). She now knows she can reach out at any time to battle isolation and seek the help she deserves.

Learn more at the Warrior Care and National Resource Directory websites.

You also may be interested in...

Caregiver Wife’s Support Instrumental to Wounded Warrior’s Recovery

Article
11/30/2021
Retired Air Force Tech Sgt. Eric Heldman staying active

Eric and Crystal Heideman are not just husband and wife, but life partners navigating life as a wounded warrior and his full-time caregiver with resilience, will, and above all, love for one another.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Meet the Matriarch of Wounded Warrior Caregivers at Walter Reed

Article
11/30/2021
Service members transporting a severely wounded soldier

For worried caregivers at Walter Reed Bethesda, Linda Rasnake is a positive force of nature.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

Wounded Warriors and Caregivers Online Resources

Article
11/29/2021
Airmen race for a loose ball during an Air Force Wounded Warrior basketball game

The Defense Department programs listed here are staffed with nearly 800 recovery care coordinators and case managers who are standing by to respond to individual queries.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care

Mental Stress is like a ‘Check Engine Light’ Flashing–Don’t Ignore It

Article
11/29/2021
Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David talks about his  journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program during a video conversation with Defense Health Agency Command Sgt. Major Michael Gragg.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jason David speaks about his own journey of recovery through the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Psychological Fitness

For Many Wounded Warriors, Not All Damage is Visible or Combat-Related

Article
11/23/2021
A picture of Alex and Allison Pate

For Air Force Staff Sgt. Alex Pate’s wife, Allison, being a caregiver to a wounded warrior has been a series of emotions, but she’s grateful for the support they’ve received along the road to his recovery.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

For Wounded Warriors, Adaptive Sports Bring Camaraderie and Confidence

Article
11/19/2021
Military personnel with their service dogs during swim practice

At the Wounded Warrior level, sports that can be adapted to accommodate disabilities are literally saving lives. And the sports and other adaptive activities are getting more widespread and popular each year.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

PATCAT Table v8

Policy

Version 8 of PATCAT Table

Warrior Care Month Recognition

Policy

Join me in recognizing Warrior Care Month, an important Department-wide effort to increase awareness of programs and resources available to wounded, ill, and injured Service members, as well as their families, caregivers, and others who support them. Established in 2008, the annual Warrior Care Month recognition occurs each November. The theme of this year's observance is "Virtual Show of Strength."

Wounded Warrior with Family

Photo
11/4/2021
Soldier sitting in gym with wife and daughter

A participant and his family watch as wounded, ill and injured service members participate in the air rifle and air pistol competitions during the 2017 Army Warrior Games Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas (Department of Defense photo by Roger Wollenberg).

Recommended Content:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Tips for Caregivers – How to Take Care of Yourself and Avoid Burnout

Article
11/4/2021
Soldier sitting in gym with wife and daughter

The Human Performance Resources by CHAMP team, part of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Consortium for Health and Military Performance provides stress management strategies for caregivers of recovering friends, family members or loved ones.

Recommended Content:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences | Total Force Fitness | Warrior Care

WICC Podcast

Photo
10/18/2021

Today’s female service member population is now at 17%.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Warrior Care | Total Force Fitness

Warrior Care

Video
10/14/2021
Warrior Care

DOD has no higher priority than caring for wounded, ill and injured service members and the caregivers who support them.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | November Toolkit | Warrior Care – A Virtual Show of Strength | Caregiver Month

MHS and MOS: "Warrior Care" Town Hall

Video
6/22/2021
MHS and MOS: "Warrior Care" Town Hall

Jonathan Morris joins us to talk about Warrior Care and its importance

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

MHS Town Hall June 22 2021

Photo
6/22/2021
Picture of Jonathan Morris

MHS and Military OneSource presents a discussion with Jonathan Morris from Warrior Care.

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care

MHS and MOS Town Hall: "Warrior Care"

Article
6/22/2021
Picture of Jonathan Morris

MHS and Military OneSource: To Your Health: A Discussion with Jonathan Morris from Warrior Care

Recommended Content:

Warrior Care | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 6

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.