Supporting Caregivers of Veterans with Dementia

Nicholas S. Koufacos, Eve M. Gottesman, Eugenia Dorisca, Judith L. Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the number of veterans with dementia continues to increase, support services for those veterans and their caregivers must also increase. Caregivers of veterans with dementia often report high levels of emotional distress in the form of anxiety, exhaustion, and burden that negatively impacts their health and quality of life. This brief descriptive report highlights a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) project in which a social worker trained in palliative care, teaches stress-reduction to caregivers through individual counseling and virtual groups. In two years, 39 caregivers received individual assessment and counseling focused on stress-reduction. Also, five group webinars were held on the topic of self-care that averaged 17 caregivers per group. 24 caregivers completed a survey and results suggested that stress-reduction and self-care may be viable target areas of intervention for caregivers of veterans with dementia in both individual and group formats. More research is needed in this area to improve our knowledge of how stress may be reduced for caregivers and what type of interventions may be effective to help caregivers reduce stress and improve their self-care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-22
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Quality improvement
  • caregiver support
  • dementia care
  • military veterans


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