Tag Archives: militaryfamilies

April Caregiving Webinar: Understanding Narcotic Medications for Service Members

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Join the Military Caregiving Concentration for a FREE monthly professional development webinar on, ‘Understanding Narcotic Medications for Service Members.’

Narcotic medications are used for a variety of treatments such as, pain management, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Narcotic prescriptions may be given to augment and extend the effects of medications for service members with acute and chronic pain.

Within the presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role that professionals play in medication management for service members.
  • Identify various classes of narcotics, their actions and potential dependence it may cause for wounded warriors.
  • Highlight differences in the therapies for acute and chronic pain management, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Presenters

The April caregiving webinar will feature two presenters from West Texas A&M University (WTAMU), Kristen Kuhlmann, Ph.D., and Nancy Turrubiates, MSN, RN.

Dr. Kuhlmann is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at WTAMU with a research interest in exploring what motivates people to begin or maintain a healthy lifestyle, in order to reduce chronic health problems. Nancy Turrubiates is an Instructor of Nursing at WTAMU and is also a direct commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and was promoted to Captain (CPT) in 2011. Turrubiates currently teaches in the Bachelor of Science Nursing program at WTAMU to senior level students in community health courses.

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, Understanding Narcotic Medication for Service Members, 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 post written by Mikala Whitaker of the MFLN Military Caregiving concentration team and was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 17, 2015.

Q&A with #eXmilcaregiving: Why is Medicaid an Important Resource for Service Members?

iStock_000000429058LargeMedicaid is an insurance program that provides health coverage for many who are low income or disabled. The program is operated at the state level, using federal and state funding. However, Medicaid programs vary substantially from state to state.

Medicaid can be an important resource because it may provide supplemental or “wrap-around” coverage for services that may have limited coverage under TRICARE or a service member’s primary insurance program. In doing so, it may provide coverage for services that are not otherwise provided under TRICARE or an insurance program. Because of state variability in Medicaid program services and delivery systems, there is a lack of programs and services consistency across the states.

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.

As a Professional, How Do You Encourage Caregivers & Service Members to Open Up?

Often times it can be difficult as you work with service members and their families to get them to really open up to you in order to better identify appropriate services to meet their specific needs. In some cases, service members and their families may be reluctant to opening up to you as a professional for fear of their reputation, stigma associated with receiving help, denial about his/her condition(s), or the overall unknown (Brintnall-Peterson, 2014).

We asked a variety of military professionals from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor in Washington state, that work with wounded service members and families, on advice they would offer to getting their clients to open up.

Watch and listen as each professional provides key tips and strategies on communicating with their service members and families to get the conversation flowing.

After listening how each individual responds, can you relate to their feedback? What are some strategies that have worked in your profession to getting service members and families to open up? (Insert your response in the comment box below.)


The ‘Professionals Helping Professional’ video series was developed in order to highlight various military service professionals and their work with wounded service members and families throughout the branches of service. The goal of the video series is to enhance the work of military helping professionals and provide educational development to better support our service members and their families.

This post written by Mikala Whitaker of the MFLN Military Caregiving concentration team and was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 9, 2015.

Service Professionals Offer Advice for Military Caregivers

What advice can you offer families of wounded service members? In the latest Military Caregiving, ‘Professionals Helping Professionals’ video, military helping professionals from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the Navy Wounded Warrior – Safe Harbor in Washington state offered their advice to family caregivers of wounded service members on various issues.

Watch and listen as each professional provides key tips and strategies for caregiving, especially if the service member is currently going through the medical evaluation process.

After listening to the military helping professionals, what advice can you offer that you think is beneficial for military caregivers to be aware of?

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The ‘Professionals Helping Professional’ video series was developed in order to highlight various military service professionals and their work with wounded service members and families throughout the branches of service. The goal of the video series is to enhance the work of military helping professionals and provide educational development to better support our service members and their families.

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on February 17, 2015. 

Target Sports As a Form of Therapy

Blog post written by Keith Tidball, Ph.D., Cornell University

The idea of practicing target sports as a form of therapy may seem counter-intuitive to those involved in working with returning service members and veterans. However, many service members report that involvement in target sports is something they find relaxing and therapeutic as well as an enjoyable form of activity. Most of what is written about target sports as therapy, is popular reporting based on anecdotal evidence. The use of this form of therapy requires controlled, peer-reviewed study for its use and efficacy in order to become a clinical recommendation or best practice.

Though we cannot advise all service members or veterans to engage in target sports as therapy, we also cannot dismiss the use of this therapy in the right context. To that end, we talked with Louis McGranaghan, a physical therapist at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, who has thought a little about the subject. Here’s what he had to say —

This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on February 2, 2015. 

February Caregiving Webinar: Medicaid & Military Families (Part 3)

Adults with Special NeedsJoin the Military Caregiving Concentration team as they host their FREE monthly professional development webinar on the topic of ‘Medicaid and Military Families: Adults with Special Needs’ – part three of a three-part series.

Date: February 18, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Event Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/1700
*No registration is required 

Christopher Plein Ph. D., an Eberly Professor of Outstanding Public Service at West Virginia University, will examine Medicaid options for older families members, such as spouses and adult children. The overall purpose of these modules is to assist family support providers and others with a general knowledge of Medicaid and to provide some guidance on where to turn for resources and further information.

Webinar training objectives for Part 3 include:

  • Provide an overview of Medicaid and adults with special needs
  • Identify reasons for accessing Medicaid
  • Illustrate key concepts for adults receiving Medicaid services
  • Understand how Medicaid impacts older children, adults and the elderly
  • Identify new trends within Medicaid
  • Identify key takeaways for professionals serving military families with special needs.

If you have missed the beginning of the series and would like to receive continuing education credit, you can find both Part 1 and 2 at the following sites:

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 Part 3 Medicaid and Military Families: Adults with Special Needs 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.

Can Education and Coping Strategies Reduce the Effects of Childhood Maltreatment?

By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Military deployment can place additional stress on a family, sometimes resulting in childhood maltreatment. Emotional, physical, and/or sexual maltreatment can have devastating effects on child development. What are some protective factors that can improve outcomes for individuals who experienced childhood maltreatment? In a 2013 article published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, researchers examined protective factors that could reduce symptoms related to childhood maltreatment, and decrease the likelihood of adult personality disorders [1].
Hanging the family tree 2

This study was conducted as part of the Zurich Programme for Sustainable Development of Mental Health Services in Zurich, Switzerland. In this portion of the study, 680 residents of the canton of Zurich, ages 20 to 41 years, were given personality disorder (PD) questionnaires, a childhood maltreatment questionnaire, and coping questionnaires. The childhood maltreatment questionnaire included questions about emotional and physical abuse, emotional and physical neglect, and sexual abuse. Coping strategies included emotion-focused coping, problem-focused coping, and dysfunctional coping.

In examining the interactions among childhood maltreatment, level of education, coping strategies, and symptoms of personality disorders, the following results were found:

  • Individuals with low levels of education levels were less likely to use problem-focused coping resources.
  • Surprisingly, in maltreated individuals, as problem-focused coping increased, dependent personality trait disorder scores increased.
  • Consistent with other research, all forms of childhood maltreatment were related to dysfunctional coping skills.

Implications for Clinicians

For adults who have experienced childhood maltreatment, increasing adaptive coping skills (such as ) and reducing dysfunctional skills (such as avoidance, denial, self-distraction or self-blame) may reduce symptoms of personality disorders. Problem-based coping skills to consider when developing a treatment plan could be planning, instrumental support, or active coping. Emotion-based coping skills might include; acceptance, emotional support, humor, or positive reframing.

For more information on childhood maltreatment and the impact on brain development, review the MFLN webinar, “Trauma in Young Children Under 4-Years of Age: Attachment, Neurobiology, and Interventions”. Blogs related to childhood maltreatment include:Child Maltreatment Prevention; “Child Brain Development & Trauma”; “Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples Affected by Trauma; Therapeutic Book for Child Trauma”.

More on protective factors: “What Leads to Better Outcomes for Children Who Witness Family Violence?”

 

Reference

[1] Hengartner, M. P., Mueller, M., Rodgers, S., Roessler, W., & Ajdacic-Gross, V. (2013). Can protective factors moderate the detrimental effects of child maltreatment on personality functioning? Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47(9), 1180-1186. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.05.005

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, You Tube, and on LinkedIn.

5 Tips for Military Caregivers during the Holidays

iStock_000017046751XSmallThe holidays can often be a time filled with many emotions for military caregivers, ranging from thankfulness and joy, to stress and frustration. Overwhelmed with daily responsibilities of providing care to our service members, the holidays, as special as they may be to us, may leave us vulnerable to stress.

The following tips for military caregivers are suggestions for this holiday season as you spend time with your wounded service member and family and friends.

1. Share your wish list of caregiving duties. The gift of asking for help can be even better than material objects. Talk to family and friends and get them involved in some of your caregiving activities. Ask if they can provide respite care for a few hours, run errands, take your service member to the doctor, or help out around the house.

2. Recognize signs and symptoms of burnout. During the holidays your caregiving duties may become more heightened than ever. Your stress level can reach an all-time high as you try to juggle caring for your wounded warrior and getting ready for the holiday festivities. Before long you become burnout and robbed of your energy and experience a full blown emotional breakdown. Recognize these emotions or signs and symptoms of burnout and identify outlets when you begin to feel stressed.

3. Anticipate holiday triggers from your service member. The holidays may trigger stress or unhappy memories for some wounded service members. Be mindful and acknowledge their emotions as well as yours. Service members may feel anxious with large holiday crowds; they may even bring on negative emotions because they are no longer able to accomplish or participate in things they once were. Stay focused on the positive, and thankful they are with you this time of year.

4. Simplify holiday activities. We all imagine the holidays full of bright lights and food and drinks of every variety, but it may be less stressful if you scaled back a bit to simplify, while still enjoying the holiday festivities. Set limits. If you are baking for a feast, chose foods that are simpler to bake; eat out or order a prepared meal.

5. Start new holiday traditions. Depending on your service member’s injury, you and your family may not be able to participate in as many holiday activities as you once were. As a caregiver, you are learning to create a ‘new normal’ and change is inevitable. If you are unable to travel to see family and friends or attend holiday parties, try using technology and setup a video visit.


This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on December 1, 2014.

December Caregiving Webinar: Medicaid & Military Families (Part 1)

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Join the Military Caregiving Concentration team as they host their FREE monthly professional development webinar on the topic of ‘Medicaid and Military Families: An Introduction’ – part one of a three part series.

Date: December 10, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Event Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/1698
*No registration is required 

Christopher Plein Ph. D., an Eberly Professor of Outstanding Public Service at West Virginia University, will provide an introduction into a three-part series on the overall purposes of the Medicaid program; its relevance to military families, especially those with family members who have special needs. Medicaid is a federal-state program that often provides health care coverage for low-income families and those with disabilities. The purpose of the ‘Medicaid and Military Families’ three-part series is to assist military service providers and others with a general knowledge of Medicaid and to provide guidance on where to turn for resources and further information.

Webinar training objectives include:

  • Describe ‘What is Medicaid?’
  • Understand eligibility requirements
  • Identify medicaid essentials
  • Implement program in current work
  • Recognize the future of Medicaid
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 Part 1 Medicaid and Military Families: An Introduction 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 post was written by Mikala Whitaker, MFLN- Military Caregiving Social Media assistant, and published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on November 17, 2014.