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Caregiver Assistance Programs

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Currently, there are an estimated 5.5 million military and veteran caregivers who provide constant support to our aging or injured military community. While many of these caregivers are family or close friends, these selfless aides often take on this role without any formal training or education. Additionally, these caregivers often lack the support and resources needed to help them be successful in the new role they have been thrusted into.

However, former North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole and her foundation have created a Military and Veteran Caregiver Journey Map that acts as a resource for caregivers who may need assistance with their shifting priorities and help finding a new rhythm to their lives. The map is completely customized for each caregiver and provides other resources, such as points of intervention when their support can be most effective, which may be helpful for caregivers.

In addition, Easter Seals worked along with the Dole Foundation to create free military caregiving education and provides 24/7 access to on-demand online sessions, with some even available in Spanish. Topics include caregiver self-care, intimacy, depression, and childcare.   Easter Seals also had a contract with Department of Veteran Affairs from 2011-2017, which enabled them to provide more than 38,000 caregivers with information online, in-person, and via self-study training courses. As a part of the Dole Foundation, Easter Seals also provides respite care, center-based day care services, and in-home services for those families who have older members or those who have cognitive concerns.

Being a military or veteran caregiver for some may become a full-time job and there is monetary help available.  The VA Mission Act was passed to pay caregivers of severely injured veterans. While the Act initially applied to those military veterans who joined after September 11, 2001, President Trump signed a bill to make this applicable to veterans from all eras. 

Before the caregiver can be eligible for the stipend, which can be up to $30,000 a year, the veteran must be evaluated to determine how often care is needed. Care must be necessary and needed on a regular basis for at least six months.  In addition, the care must also be a result of a serious duty-related injury, such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), psychological problems, or other serious mental health issues. As the need for caregivers will continue to grow, it is important to remember to that there are resources available.

If you or a loved one can benefit from the Dole Foundation’s Journey Map and more, contact the lawyers at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco and Rosasco at 877-693-2529 to learn about your options.

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