On National Caregiver Day (and every day!), CVN cares for our nation’s military caregivers, the all-too-often unsung heroes who play a critical role in the health and well-being of our military community.
Today, there are an estimated 5.5 million military caregivers nationwide. They are the spouses, parents, siblings, friends, and even children who step up in incredible ways to care for the wounded, ill, or injured veteran or service member in their life.
The wide spectrum of military caregiver support includes organizing medications, providing transportation to doctor’s appointments, monitoring medical conditions, assisting with daily tasks like getting dressed and bathing, communicating with health care providers, advocating on their behalf, helping with housework, meals, grocery shopping, and much more.
In many cases, caregivers don’t identify themselves as caregivers, and see this support as simply doing what needs to be done when someone they love needs help. Still, it is important to recognize that the additional physical and emotional strain of caregiving responsibilities can affect caregivers’ mental health, and acknowledge that in military households, the culture of sacrifice and selflessness can prevent caregivers from taking care of themselves.
At Cohen Veterans Network (CVN), we are acutely aware that sometimes caregivers need someone to care for them, too. From the day our first clinic door opened, caregivers have been eligible for our high-quality, accessible mental health care. Last year, in partnership with Wounded Warrior Project, CVN extended our commitment to caregivers through a new initiative called “Hidden Helpers”. This initiative provides extended services to children who act as caregivers in military households, who are receiving care at any of our 23 Cohen Clinics around the country. Roughly 50% of all clients at CVN are military family members, and of that group 16% are children.
As a network, we are proud to have expanded our care to these remarkably resilient Hidden Helpers and look forward to continuing to serve. To find care near you or to learn more, visit: cohenveteransnetwork.org/our-care