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VA Sunshine Healthcare Network


Caring for the Caregiver Brings Rest & Relaxation

A group of Caregivers enjoy an afternoon of camaraderie and painting on canvas.

A group of Caregivers enjoy an afternoon of camaraderie and painting on canvas.

Friday, March 3, 2023
The Orlando VA Health Care System (OVAHCS) celebrates family caregivers and recognizes and honors our Nation’s unsung heroes. Family members, friends and neighbors who care for Veterans play a critical role in ensuring the health of our Veterans, and their efforts may often go unnoticed.

Throughout the year, the OVAHCS caregiver support team of 40 individuals work to highlight their efforts and show them appreciation for their indispensable efforts, which allows Veterans to stay in their homes and communities they defended surrounded by their loved ones.

Stepping out of their typical role, a group of Caregivers got to enjoy an afternoon of camaraderie and painting on canvas. This wonderful event helped Veteran Caregivers take time for themselves and to bond with one another. The stress-free environment showed many smiles, hugs, and support filled with empowering one another with knowledge and confidence.

Caregiver Support Coordinator, Michelle Harper is an instrumental piece in coordinating events for the caregivers.

“This recent event provided caregivers with the me time and self-care that they don’t normally take for themselves, said Harper.”

Veteran caregiver, Julissa Rodriguez describes the benefits that the program has provided to her, “This program has helped me understand what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is, how to understand my Veteran, and how to stand by his side and know what his triggers are.”

Rodriguez looks forward to sharing stories and talking with other caregivers during these events. “Activities like this make things better and gives us a break,” she said.

Caregiver, Lizzette Hernandez, shared her experience in the program during the event. “Education is key, and the financial support helps because we, as caregivers, put in many hours.”

To date, the OVAHCS Caregiver Support Program is the largest in the Nation with over 1,490 caregivers who receive access to important resources and additional support to care for Veterans. 

For more information about the Caregiver Support program at your facility visit


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