Memorial Day honors those who have died in battle and reminds all Americans of the sacrifice service members and their families make. Military caregivers, though, see the sacrifice firsthand every day. There are an estimated 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States, according to research published by the RAND Corporation. These caregivers help vets through physical, emotional, and financial issues.
When a service member is injured in the line of duty, he often faces more than just physical trauma. Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological issues can also come into play. Military leaders understand that this can be stressful on the entire family.
To address this, Veterans Affairs offers a range of caregiver support. This is intended to ensure veterans and their families have access to the best resources available. You can learn more about the benefits available to military caregivers by calling the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.
In addition to the support line, there is also a caregiver support coordinator assigned to each local VA Medical Center. These liaisons help veterans and their caregivers find the local resources they need. A wide range of support services are available in almost every community. These services include everything from local support groups to organizations that provide transportation to vets living in rural areas.
While military caregivers are responsible for many of the same tasks as other caregivers, there are also unique challenges that are best understood by others in the same situation. This makes it especially important to seek out support resources specifically created for friends and family of veterans. Make the Connection brings together vets, their caregivers, and their loved ones with others in their community. They can share inspiring stories, tips, and advice.
Support for Caregivers
Military caregivers have been charged with a stressful job, one that can take a physical and emotional toll. Balancing caregiving tasks with your daily life can be a challenge. In order to ensure your own health, here are some things you should make sure to do:
- Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and remain active.
- Do not isolate. Instead, seek support.
- Talk to other military caregivers. Join a support group, online or in person, or confide in a friend.
- Take regular breaks. Some veterans qualify for respite care when you need a break. Respite Care is a program that pays for care for a short time when family caregivers need a break, need to run errands, or need to go out of town for a few days.
From emotional support to assisting with daily hygiene to getting to doctor’s appointments on time, caregivers often work around the clock. By taking advantage of the resources available specifically for the military caregiver, you can better balance your duties with your daily life.