Accession Number : ADA578152
Title : Military Caregivers: Cornerstones of Support for Our Nation's Wounded, Ill, and Injured Veterans
Descriptive Note : Research rept.
Corporate Author : RAND CORP ARLINGTON VA NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH DIV
Personal Author(s) : Tanielian, Terri ; Ramchand, Rajeev ; Fisher, Michael P ; Sims, Carra S ; Harris, Racine ; Harrell, Margaret C
Report Date : Jan 2013
Pagination or Media Count : 23
Abstract : The United States has been at war longer than any time in its history. While thousands have been wounded in these conflicts, advances in battlefield medicine mean many of our troops survive catastrophic wounds. The nature of many of their wounds, however, means some require long-term caregiving support. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation commissioned RAND Corp to assess the needs of military caregivers, scan the services available to them, and identify how their needs are -- and are not -- being met. This report reviews existing research on the needs of caregivers in general, and assesses how lessons learned can be applied to military caregivers. We also present information gleaned from military caregivers themselves and from policymakers and program officials who either directly support, or advocate on behalf of, military caregivers. We provide a snapshot of the number and characteristics of military caregivers, the roles they serve, the physical and emotional impact caregiving has on their lives, and the resources available to them. Military caregivers tend to be younger women with dependent-age children, dealing with a different set of patient variables than the general caregiver population. Along with typical caregiver responsibilities, military caregivers also act as case managers navigating multiple health systems, advocates for new treatment, and financial and legal representatives. Many are also raising children and holding jobs outside the home. Studies indicate that caregivers in general suffer from physical strain and overall worse health and tend to put their own concerns behind those of the individuals for whom they are caring. Military caregivers suffer disproportionately from mental health problems and emotional distress. Many government programs are still in their infancy, and community resources are scattered and uncoordinated. Difficulties are presented by differing eligibility criteria, lack of access, and the way caregivers' needs change over time.
Descriptors : *FAMILY MEMBERS , *HEALING , *MENTAL DISORDERS , *ROLES(BEHAVIOR) , *VETERANS(MILITARY PERSONNEL) , *WOUNDS AND INJURIES , ACCESS , EMOTIONS , FINANCE , ISOLATION , LONG RANGE(TIME) , MENTAL HEALTH , RESOURCES , WOMEN
Subject Categories : Medicine and Medical Research
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE