By Military Connection Staff Writer Joe Silva.
It is estimated that there are currently 5.5 million individuals in the U.S. who provide full-time care to a wounded Veteran or service member. These military caregivers are almost always family members, usually spouses, parents or children. Military caregivers assist their wounded and disabled loved ones with the daily tasks of their lives. They bathe, dress, feed and assist with toilet functions for their loved ones.
Providing such care for another would prove tasking and stressful for anyone. But military caregivers have to deal with so much more. On top of managing their Veteran’s care for their physical injuries, military caregivers also bear witness to the psychological injuries suffered by their loved ones, especially due to their needing full-time care. Remember that these wounded men and women were once strong enough to complete basic and advanced military training.
The VA and many Federal and local government agencies recognize the plight of the wounded and disabled Veterans and provide services and benefits for them. But until recently, the military caregiver was often overlooked.
Caring for Military Families: the Elizabeth Dole Foundation has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the military caregiver. Family members who care for their wounded Veterans hold a special place for Senator Elizabeth Dole. Her husband, former presidential candidate Sen. Bob Dole, is a wounded Veteran.
Along with raising awareness about military caregivers, Caring for Families connects the caregivers to resources and programs that benefit them and their Veteran. Because military caregivers have a full load, Caring for Families wants to make it as easy as possible for these families to find and utilize the resources and benefits they need. That is why their site offers a Caregiver Resource Guide.
Caring for Families also conducts the Elizabeth Dole Fellows Program. The Fellows Program is designed to give military caregivers a voice regarding their concerns in every aspect of caring for their disabled Veteran. The Fellows Program is their opportunity to point out where strengths and deficiencies lie within the Veteran healthcare system and benefits disbursement. Fellows serve as ambassadors for all military caregivers and The Elizabeth Dole Foundation at events, in social media and at media functions. Fellows also contribute to the planning of the Foundation’s Month of the Military Caregiver, which is April 2014.
MilitaryConnection.com, the go to site for Military and Veterans, strives to connect military families with the help and resources they need. Caring for Families: the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is a great organization that is truly bettering the lives of Veteran families in need. To find out more about the organization, please visit their website at www.elizabethdolefoundation.org . If you would like to make a donation to the foundation’s cause, please click here.