Tag Archives: militaryfamilies

Chaplain’s Advice on Responding to Severe Stories from Warriors

“We practice how to tap into emotions and use it to help us understand and reflect back to the Service Member.”  – Captain David Reedy, U.S. Air Force Chaplain

As a caregiver, your service member may open up to you about really severe stories or memories that have impacted them while serving. This can also hold true to many military helping professionals as they work with their clients. You may be thinking internally that the information the loved one or service member is sharing is hard to hear, but know it took a lot for that individual to really divulge. In those moments of deep conversation, barriers that once held him or her back are beginning to breakdown and you can get a sense of what their needs may be in regards to care management.

Watch and listen as Captain David Reedy, Air Force Chaplain at Joint Base San Antonio offers tips and benefits to handling emotional stories from service member’s military experiences.

How do you feel about Captain Reedy’s response? What are some things that you have found with regards to your wounded warrior’s stories?

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on June 5, 2015.

June Caregiving Webinar: The Value of Respite for Caregivers

CoverImage

Remember to join the MFLN Military Caregiving team for our upcoming, monthly professional development webinar on, ‘The Value of Respite for Family Caregivers.’ Event details are below.

Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Date: Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Event Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/2090

As a military helping professional working with family caregivers, it helps to understand that not all caregivers know what respite is, nor do they understand the importance respite plays in their health and well-being. In some cases, caregivers may even be reluctant to use respite services. During the presentation, Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., will identify ways respite can and cannot benefit family caregivers and help professionals identify respite options for caregivers to match their individual needs. Dr. Peterson will also share respite resources with professionals for family caregivers of wounded service members and caregivers of children with special needs.

Dr. Peterson comes to us from the University of Wisconsin where she is a Professor Emeritus in Extension education. She also has over 25 years of experience as an educator of family caregivers and shares both personal and professional caregiving experiences.

CEU Credit Available!

The Military Families Learning Network has applied for 1.0 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit for credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits go to: NASW Continuing Education Instructions. 

Interested in Joining the Webinar?

*No registration is required; simply go to, The Value of Respite for Family Caregiver, the day of the event to join. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense Connect System (DCS), but is open to the public. It is strongly suggested that when using the DCS system to open the webinar on Google Chrome for both PC and MAC connections. If this is not an option, Internet Explorer may be used if connecting via PC. Safari and Firefox are not compatible with this DCS platform.

For those who cannot connect to the DCS site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream.


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on May 29, 2015.

Financial Therapy Insights for Financial Counseling & Education

By Molly C. Herndon

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson will deliver the second session of the Personal Finance Virtual Learning Event. This 90-minute webinar on June 3 at 11 a.m. ET will focus on the psychology that promotes changes in behavior through financial counseling.

The image 14296 counseling & psychology by Texas A&M University Marking Communications Photography for this webinar is licensed Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.
Photo by Texas A&M University Marking Communications Photography (Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.)

This session will explain what financial therapy is and how it differs from financial counseling, coaching, and planning. Attendees will learn some of the specific techniques and models used in financial therapy and tips on how to incorporate some of these techniques into financial counseling sessions to help facilitate the opportunity for lasting financial behavior change.

Financial therapy focuses on client behavior, and combines the often overlooked aspect of spending: emotion. By tackling underlying issues, financial therapists can often help clients make behavior changes that have positive impacts on their finances.

Dr. Mary Bell Carlson is a is a leading researcher in military financial behavior and the principal of Silverbell Solutions, L.L.C., a financial therapy and consulting firm based in Arlington, VA. She’s a Certified Financial Planner® and holds both the Accredited Financial Counselor™ and the Certified Retirement Counselor® designations.

To join this session on Wednesday, June 3 at 11 a.m. ET, and for more information visit: https://learn.extension.org/events/2019

Understanding FMLA for Military Families & Caregivers

iStock_000009153855_Medium

When working with our Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Military Program at various installations across the state, it became apparent that many of our employees were unaware of the types of leave that are available. Approximately half of our Extension Military Program personnel consist of families of active duty service members, the other half are families of veterans. When we employ these types of individuals it is important that not only our Agency understand the types of leave available to the employee, but that our employees are also aware. If you are a military family member or a military caregiver currently employed, there is new legislation regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that could be beneficial to your family.

In 2010 FMLA was amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to expand leave rights to employees with family members in the military depending on the individual’s circumstances. Under the new legislation by NDAA, FMLA includes two new benefit entitlements for military families: (1) Qualifying Exigency Leave and (2) Military Caregiver Leave.

Let’s take a closer look at which type of leave would best fit you and your service member’s situation.

Qualifying Exigency Leave

Eligible employees who fall under the Qualifying Exigency Leave can take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave yearly for reasons related to the call to active duty of covered service member’s spouses, children, or parents. Qualifications for Exigency Leave include:

  • Service member has received a week or less for orders of deployment
  • Service member is involved in military events and/or related activities
  • Urgent child care or school activities is warranted
  • Financial and legal tasks related to family member’s active duty
  • Counseling for the employee or child who isn’t already covered by FMLA
  • Time spent with service member on rest and recuperation (R&R) breaks during deployment
  • Post-deployment activities
  • Providing care to parent of the service member when the parent is incapable of self-care and the service member necessitates a change in the existing care arrangement for the parent

Certification
If you qualify for Exigency Leave you must give reasonable notice to your employers upon seeking leave. Employers may require certification for Qualifying Exigency Leave, in which you will need to provide a copy of your service member’s active duty orders.

For more information on Qualifying Exigency Leave go to the Department of Labor’s, Qualifying Exigency Leave under FMLA fact sheet.

Military Caregiver Leave

If you are caring for an active duty service member or veteran that has been wounded, Military Caregiver Leave is available. Military Caregiver Leave allows employees up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12-month period to care for seriously injured or ill “covered” service members. However, eligible employees may take an additional 26 weeks of leave in a different 12-month period to care for the service member in the event another injury is sustained. Employees may also take Military Caregiver Leave to care for families members who sustained a qualifying injury for up to five years after they have been discharged from service. Eligible employees include the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or “next of kin” of the covered service member.

Service members who are undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness may be covered under the following qualifications:

  • Member of the Armed Forces
  • Discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable
  • Discharged within the five-year period before the eligible employee first takes FMLA military caregiver leave to care for the service member

Certification
If you qualify for Military Caregiver leave you may be required to provide certification by an authorized health care provider for employers to allow for leave to care for your service member. Health care providers can be from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, TRICARE, or non-military affiliated providers. In addition to authorization from your healthcare provider, you may be required to submit documentation of family relationship in order to complete the certification process.

To see if you qualify for FMLA leave for your current service member or veteran check out the following fact sheets provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

By knowing the types of leave available to you, it will not only help alleviate the many emotions that come with being part of the military community, but it will help you to know your options as an employee in the event your service member is deployed or wounded.


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on May 22, 2015.

YouTube Twitter Linked In Facebook

Motivating Service Members to Adopt Positive Financial Behaviors

By Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®

Motivating clients or students to adopt and maintain positive financial behaviors is one of three topics included in this year’s three day Virtual Learning Event (VLE) sponsored by the MFLN Personal Finance team. The hard reality is that getting others to change their behavior is difficult and counselor/educator goals and client goals are often not the same. In addition, many people have internal (e.g., emotional) and external (e.g., lack of transportation) barriers that interfere with goal attainment. To change financial behavior, practitioners must know where clients want to go, identify barriers, avoid judgement and assumptions, and provide realistic and do-able options.

Lori Mann (right) an Army Career and Alumni Program counselor offers career guidance to a Soldier at the ACAP center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Photo courtesy of Installation Management Command
Lori Mann (right) an Army Career and Alumni Program counselor offers career guidance to a Soldier at the ACAP center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Photo courtesy of Installation Management Command

Research theories can help inform behavior change efforts. One commonly cited theory is the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM), which states that people go through five stages of change ranging from being unaware of the need to make a change (precontemplation) to continuing to perform an action that was previously taken (maintenance). Change processes such as learning new facts about a behavior change (e.g., saving money), called consciousness-raising, and helping relationships with others help people progress through the five stages.

Personal qualities also affect how people behave financially. Locus of control refers to whether people attribute their successes and failures to their own efforts or forces outside of their control. Time preference refers to people’s desire for current spending or future wealth. People with a present bias have a short time horizon and are less likely to save for retirement. Conscientiousness refers to the degree to which people follow rules and expert recommendations, are careful, thoughtful, and organized, and make well-considered decisions. How can these concepts be applied to financial counseling and education practice? Consider these suggestions:

  • Assess clients’ readiness for change using the TTM. For additional information, including suggested questions to ask click here.
  • Provide assistance with goal-setting by turning goals into a series of steps using this Rutgers Cooperative Extension Financial Goal-Setting Worksheet. Also, people may have a “goal behind the goal” (e.g., saving money to avoid being a “bag lady”) so gently probe to determine their underlying desire and motivation to change.
  • Help clients simplify their finances with practices such as direct deposit, mutual fund automatic investment plans, stock dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs), automated credit union savings, retirement plan (e.g., TSP) deposits, and bill-paying, checking to savings account transfers, and stop-loss orders on stock.
  • Address obstacles to adopting recommended practices (i.e., anything that blocks progress). For example, let’s say someone has not prepared a will. Obstacles could be financial (perceived high cost of lawyers), social/emotional (choice of a guardian for children), or logistical (don’t know how to find a lawyer).
  • Identify client “hot buttons” (i.e., issues that cause people to feel strong emotional responses) to facilitate personalizing the delivery of financial information. Good probing questions to assess financial hot buttons include “What makes you happy?,” “Where do you want to be in 3-5 years?,” “What worries you the most about money?” and “Tell me about your family.”

To join the Motivating Clients to Develop Positive Financial Behaviors, webinar on Tuesday, June 2 at 11 a.m. ET visit: https://learn.extension.org/events/2011.

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on May 19, 2015.

Key Takeaways from Caregiving Webinar: Promoting Knowledge

Promoting

This week the MFLN Military Caregiving team hosted their monthly professional development webinar on, ‘Promoting Knowledge Gain and Behavior Change through Effective Education.’ After presenting the content to professionals, Andy Crocker, webinar presenter and Extension Specialist in Gerontology and Health at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, provided key takeaways for participants to implement in their work with clientele.

During the presentation Crocker addressed eliciting knowledge gain and behavior change by highlighting three core competences to professional development: (1) effective communication, (2) principals of adult learning, and (3) stages of change.

Each of the core competences identified in the presentation provided a framework to effective education.

  1. Communication: Identify how helping professionals can be active listeners and active responders when working with service members and their caregivers and understand the importance of interpersonal relationships among helping professionals.
  1. Principles of adult learning: Understand how and why do adults learn new information and what it takes to effectively transform information into education to promote knowledge gain.
  1. Stages of change: Recognize how adults put behavior change into practice to enable them to receive really high quality outcomes from the education that they are being provided.
Key Takeaways

So what is the moral of the story? What can you as a service provider do to increase the knowledge of your service members and their caregivers using the three core competencies discussed in Tuesday’s session?

Remember, communication is a cycle in which errors can occur. Learn to tailor your messages to what the person you are working with wants to know. For example, you are providing high quality information, but you are also looking for that feedback from the client. You must acknowledge their experience and their need to be self-directing and that you are listening and responding appropriately.

Adults want task-oriented learning. Make your education about the tasks, not about the education. Give your clients something they can take and run with and appeal to their variety of learning styles. Support what you are saying with written information and give your client something that they can do on their own. Change is hard and relapse happens, but if we can plan accordingly we can look for ways to help facilitate that change and plan for action.

If you missed Tuesday’s webinar click on Promoting Knowledge Gain and Behavior Change through Effective Education to learn more. There is still time to watch the recording and receive continuing education credit or a certificate of completion.


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on May 17, 2015.

YouTube Twitter Linked In Facebook

Q&A with #MFLNMC: How is Medicaid affected by the Affordable Care Act?

Senior Man in a Wheel ChairAre you a military service provider or caregiver to a family member whose medical coverage falls under Medicaid? Are you unsure how their coverage may be affected by the Affordable Care Act? In today’s caregiving post we take a brief look at the impact the Affordable Care Act has on Medicaid.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows states to expand Medicaid based on the percentage of the federal poverty level. About half of the U.S. has opted to do this as of early 2015. These states have expanded Medicaid eligibility to adults earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

The ACA also creates incentives for states to further develop Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) and to incorporate the programs into their state Medicaid programs, making services more widely available. HCBS are provided under federal waivers that allow states to provide services to qualified individuals. As a result, the scope of services may be limited, the populations served may be specified, and the approval to operate the waiver time may be limited.  Medicaid is and remains a federal-state program that is administered by state governments.

To learn more about Medicaid check out our Medicaid and Military Families: An Introduction training.


Have a question for our military caregiving team? Let us know! We want to hear from you.

YouTube Twitter Linked In Facebook

Twitter Cohort Lite

By Molly C. Herndon , Social Media Specialist

The Personal Finance and Network Literacy teams will again be joining forces to create a learning opportunity for folks interested in Twitter. The 2-week event will begin May 18.

This year’s event will focus on asynchronous activities that participants can complete at their own pace. The event’s guides have assembled resources and homework for participants that will teach new skills and broaden existing networks. Watch videos and view last year’s syllabus here.

The Twitter Cohort Lite promises to be an easy way to get your feet wet and start tweeting with a supportive and encouraging network of professionals. By participating in this year’s event, you will:

  • Twitter-CohortBuild your Twitter personal learning network centered around your interests.
  • Engage in conversations with a Twitter community that starts with your fellow cohort members and reaches across the world.
  • Start online relationships that will last into the future.
  • Begin to see how Twitter can be used for teaching, learning, and connecting.

So if the Twitterverse seems intimidating or if you’re just learning to enhance your own personal learning network, register today for this immersive learning opportunity.

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on May 5, 2015.

2015 Personal Finance Virtual Learning Event

Molly C. Herndon

The image 14296 counseling & psychology by Texas A&M University Marking Communications Photography for this webinar is licensed Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.
By Texas A&M University Marking Communications Photography

Join us a 3-day learning event June 2-4 that will focus influencing positive change in clients. The 2015 Personal Finance Virtual Learning Event is an online learning opportunity to connect with colleagues, broaden your professional network, learn from experts in the field, and earn free CEUs!

On Tuesday, June 2 at 11 a.m. ET Dr. Barbara O’Neill will present Motivating Clients to Develop Positive Financial Behaviors. This webinar will describe ways to prompt positive behavior change in others. It will begin with a discussion of three leading behavior change theories and the concepts of locus of control and time preference. It will then discuss 20 specific financial behavior change strategies, relevant concepts from the field of behavioral finance, and implications for financial practitioners.

On Wednesday, June 3 at 11 a.m. ET, Dr. Mary Bell Carlson will present Financial Therapy Insights for Financial Counseling and Education. This session will explain what financial therapy is and how it differs from financial counseling, coaching, and planning. You will learn some of the specific techniques and models used in financial therapy and even some tips on how to incorporate some of these techniques into your sessions to help facilitate the opportunity for lasting financial behavior change with your clients.PF VLE 1 PAGER 2015

On Thursday, June 4 at 11 a.m. ET, Jerry Buchko will present Step by Step Financial Coaching Techniques. This webinar will deliver step-by-step techniques financial educators can employ to influence positive behavior change in their clients.

Each 90-minute webinar will be followed by a 1-hour Twitter chat. Engage, ask questions and post comments by using #MFLNchat.

Each webinar is approved for 1.5 CEUs for AFC-credentialed participants through AFCPE and 1.5 general CEUs for CPFC-credentialed participants through FinCert. Learn more about our CEU process here.

More details on this 3-day event are available here. We hope to see you online June 2-4!

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on April 21, 2015.

May Caregiving Webinar: Promoting Knowledge through Effective Education

Join the Military Caregiving concentration for our upcoming monthly professional development webinar on, ‘Promoting Knowledge Gain and Behavior Change through Effective Education.’ Did I mention that this is a FREE professional development opportunity, with no registration required? Event details are below.

Watch and listen as Andy Crocker, webinar presenter and Extension Specialist in Gerontology and Health at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, provides a sneak peek into what you can expect from the upcoming May 12th webinar.

CEU Credit Available!

The Military Families Learning Network will be providing 1.0 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit to credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits go to: NASW Continuing Education Instructions. 

Interested in Joining the Webinar?

*No registration is required; simply go to, Promoting Knowledge through Effective Education, the day of the event to join. The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense so you must install security certificates if you are not located on a military installation. Instructions for certificate installation can be found by clicking on DCO Adobe Certificate Installation. You can connect to the Adobe webinar using iPhone, iPad, and Droid apps. Search for DCO Connect in the respective stores.

For those who cannot connect to the Adobe site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream.


This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 17, 2015.