Support Military Caregivers in 2017
There are close to 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States, with 20 percent caring for and supporting post-9/11 veterans. Military caregivers are hidden heroes serving in a role that receives little recognition and acknowledgement, despite the love and attention that they give daily to their injured services members. For this reason, military caregivers face emotional, physical, and mental challenges.
Caregivers Perform a Variety of Tasks and Face Heavy Burdens
- Military caregivers devote significant time and energy, on top of other household and workplace duties, caring for loved ones. 17 percent of civilian caregivers reported spending more than 40 hours per week providing care.
- The type of care they provide transcends traditional medical care. Post-9/11 military caregivers are providing help to individuals coping with stressful situations or other emotional and behavioral challenges.
- Being a caregiver impacts an individual’s health, relationships and career. Research has found that compared to non-caregivers, military caregivers are more likely to experience health challenges, greater strains in family relationships, and workplace problems.
The good news is, there’s good work being done to help our injured heroes and their families and you can get involved. In 2017, Points of Light, in partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, calls together its community of changemakers to pledge a gesture of gratitude to the military caregivers providing care to service members, veterans and their families.
About the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Pledge
The Bob Woodruff Foundation works to ensure injured veterans and their families are thriving long after they return home. The team at BWF works with over 46,000 nonprofit organizations to find and fund innovative programs in communities where veterans, their families and caregivers live and work. You can learn more about their work at www.bobwoodrufffoundation.org.
In 2016, BWF and Points of Light hosted a forum on Military Caregivers at the Conference on Volunteering and Service in Detroit. The forum featured a testimonial from Joey Caswell, Dole Fellow; a report-out from Laurel Rodewald on the Hidden Heroes impact councils; special video messages of support from Lee Woodruff, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Honorable Bob McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Gary Sinise, actor and veteran activist; and a panel discussion from leading experts in the caregiver space including Catharine Grimes of Bristol Myers Foundation and Laura J. Bauer of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving.
The conversation brought to light the unique life challenges that military caregivers face emotionally, physically, and mentally as they care for their injured service member. In response to the clear need, Points of Light is partnering with BWF to raise awareness through our military caregiver pledge.