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Thursday, November 11, 2010
Caregivers of Veterans Face Greater Stress, More Years of Care Than the National Average, Yet Are Proud to Serve
From The Wall Street Journal:
WASHINGTON, Nov 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The first national study to give a voice to family caregivers of veterans reveals that they are twice as likely as family caregivers(1) of adults overall to consider their situation highly stressful, and yet 94 percent of them are proud to serve.
The study, released today by the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and funded by United Health Foundation, finds that family caregivers of veterans face a higher burden of care, both in intensity and duration, often supporting a spouse or partner over a longer period of time than typical family caregivers. These caregivers also are predominantly women (96 percent) compared to the national average (65 percent), and many make sacrifices to their own health and jobs to care for their loved ones.
The Caregivers of Veterans - Serving on the Homefront study is the first in-depth look at family caregivers of veterans and provides unique insights into the effects of caregiving for a veteran on the caregivers' own health, work and home life. The study also provides a look at caregiving across the age spectrum representing caregivers of veterans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"The family caregivers who serve our country's veterans are making huge sacrifices in terms of their own health, careers and home life," said Reed Tuckson, M.D., United Health Foundation board member and executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. "The data indicate that these 'homefront heroes' are proud to serve in the role of caregiver for their loved ones. Yet it is incumbent upon all of us to help them find support and solutions to preserve their own health and well being, as well as that of the veteran. It is important that relatives, friends, and neighbors seek out opportunities to provide respite and other supportive services to these caregivers."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs projects that there are more than 23 million U.S. veterans. A previous NAC study on caregiving nationwide found that more than 10 million people are caring for a veteran, and nearly seven million of them are veterans themselves.
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