Caring for Our Nation’s VeteransReading Time: 2 Minutes
Last Updated: May 9, 2023
Every May, we celebrate Military Caregivers Month. As our population continues to age, more people – including veterans – will need care. Caregivers are the backbone of long-term care – and being a caregiver is demanding. It can also be incredibly rewarding. Many caregivers cherish the opportunity to support their loved ones.
As Dr. Jennifer Olsen, chief executive officer of RCI, explains, “Caregiving in military families goes far beyond caregivers of those injured due to their military service, including aging parents and grandparents, other family members, friends and children with special needs.” RCI’s programs enable military and veteran caregivers to foster connections and create a community of support. These programs also help with the common burdens that caregivers face, including those below.
Many caregivers face a financial burden when caring for a veteran. Some need to provide specialized care that can be costly, and others lack the financial resources to cover all the costs associated with caregiving. Caregivers often take time off work to provide the necessary care. As a result, caregivers may suffer a decrease in income, loss of a career, and depletion of their savings. Fortunately, their loved ones may be eligible to receive Social Security disability or retirement benefits to help ease this burden. To learn more, please visit out Information for Military & Veterans page.
“Military service introduces unique challenges to the work of caregiving. These caregivers are asked to manage the workload of caregiving while dealing with relocations, deployments and family separations, financial insecurity and additional barriers to employment, and their own health and mental health concerns.”
– Caregiving in Military Families: 2020 Military Family Lifestyle Survey Special Report (Written by Blue Star Families – in conjunction with the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, at Syracuse University).
Providing care to a sick or injured veteran often falls on the shoulders of relatives, friends, or loved ones. Some caregivers feel overwhelmed by the demands. Others feel guilty or anxious about their ability to provide proper care. Stress may leave the caregiver unable to complete personal tasks. The person they care for may have a chronic illness or be experiencing the natural effects of aging. A loved one’s decline can be emotionally challenging and hard to accept.
Lack of Support
While veteran caregivers take care of our nation’s heroes, they are often too busy to find support for themselves. In addition, they often don’t have the family or social support needed to care for themselves effectively. Lack of self-care leads to burnout.
Celebrate Military Caregivers Month with RCI and thank a caregiver for their dedication and service. Please share this with friends and family – and post it on social media.
Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.
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