During Military Caregiver Month, Tips to Help MD’s Veteran Families
Thursday, May 20, 2021
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- May is Month of the Military Caregiver to honor more than five million veteran and military family caregivers across the nation, and this year recognizes those folks who were especially taxed during the pandemic.
With almost 400,000 veterans in Maryland, the state's military caregivers took on more responsibilities throughout the COVID-19 crisis, caring for chronically ill, disabled or elderly veterans.
Amy Goyer, caregiver consultant for AARP, said the increased caring magnified the isolation, stress and depression that family members helping out often face.
"The services and support that their loved ones may have been getting may not be available because of the pandemic," Goyer explained. "Then there's more responsibility for the family caregiver. So without those usual support systems, the caregiver may also not be getting caregiver support. So it's a lot of strain and stress."
She stressed looking for support is not selfish, but a practical part of maintaining good caregiving. She recommended those who need help go online to AARP's Facebook family caregivers discussion group, which she moderates for more than 6,000 members.
Family caregivers spend about $7,400 a year out of their own pockets for a range of necessities, according to Goyer. She noted the Veterans Administration offers financial assistance, but does not cover all needed expenses, and job losses and lack of services during the pandemic put even more strain on caregivers' bank accounts.
"AARP created a free financial workbook to kind of help people work through these financial challenges and make sure they are maximizing the income and benefits and services for veterans," Goyer pointed out.
Maryland's older veterans, who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, make up 45% of the state's veteran population, according to the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs.
get more stories like this via email
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…
SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…
CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …
SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico legislator is optimistic a bill will pass in the 2022 session to prohibit life sentences for juveniles convicted of …