Mar 31, 2014
This summary distills a longer report, Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers, describing the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States today, as well as identifying gaps in the array of services designed to support military caregivers, and offering recommendations. Prior to this study, little had been reported about the population of those who care for wounded, ill, and injured military personnel and veterans.
America's Military Caregivers — Executive Summary
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While much has been written about the role of caregiving for the elderly and chronically ill and for children with special needs, little is known about "military caregivers" — the population of those who care for wounded, ill, and injured military personnel and veterans. These caregivers play an essential role in caring for injured or wounded service members and veterans. This enables those for whom they are caring to live better quality lives, and can result in faster and improved rehabilitation and recovery. Yet playing this role can impose a substantial physical, emotional, and financial toll on caregivers. This summary distills a longer report, Hidden Heroes: America's Military Caregivers, which describes the results of a study designed to describe the magnitude of military caregiving in the United States today, as well as to identify gaps in the array of programs, policies, and initiatives designed to support military caregivers. Improving military caregivers' well-being and ensuring their continued ability to provide care will require multifaceted approaches to reducing the current burdens caregiving may impose, and bolstering their ability to serve as caregivers more effectively. Given the systematic differences among military caregiver groups, it is also important that tailored approaches meet the unique needs and characteristics of post-9/11 caregivers.
This report was prepared as part of a research study funded by Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation. The research was conducted within RAND Health in coordination with the RAND National Security Research Division, divisions of the RAND Corporation.
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