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SCOTUS rules for Trump on ballot issue; CA high school students earn Google Career Certificates in high-demand fields; NY faith leaders help people address ecological grief; and a group offers abortion travel benefits for Mississippi women.

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The SCOTUS rules no state can remove a federal candidate from an election ballot saying that power rests with Congress, Super Tuesday primaries are today in sixteen states and a Colorado Court rules in the killing of Elijah McClain in police custody.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Kentucky Veterans' caregivers financially overburdened

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Friday, November 10, 2023   

Veterans Day happens once a year, but all year round, Kentuckians provide care for the veterans they love. According to data from AARP, they spend on average more than $11,000 a year in out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving.

In a region with a high number of military families, said Gary Adkins, AARP Kentucky volunteer state president, the stresses of veteran caregiving affect entire communities.

"It's a terrible situation," he said. "Kentuckians caring for veterans shouldn't have to worry about finances on top of their caregiving responsibilities. But many do."

Research shows 43% of veteran and military caregivers experienced at least one financial setback, such as having to take on more debt or dip into personal savings. The Department of Veterans Affairs' Caregiver Support Program offers financial-aid, mental-health and respite-care services, but only 34% of Kentucky's more than 233,000 veterans have used these benefits at their local VA center, according to census data.

Nationwide, millions of veteran and military caregivers provide the equivalent of $14 billion in unpaid labor. Adkins said veterans and their families deserve better.

"Our veterans have fought for our families, for our country, and a world where our kids can grow up and inherit a future," he said. "Unfortunately, a lot of times, our veterans are left hanging."

The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has developed an online guide for veterans and their caregivers to help prioritize mental and emotional health. Tips include talking and processing feelings with a friend, counselor or therapist, engaging in positive activities, setting boundaries, and recognizing warning signs such as changes in alcohol consumption or persistent feelings of hopelessness.

AARP also has a Family Caregiving hotline, open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, at 877-333-5885, and online through the AARP Facebook Family Caregivers Discussion Group.

Disclosure: AARP Kentucky contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Senior Issues, Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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