The White House invited our Executive Director Steve Schwab and Dole Caregiver Fellow Kat Causey to speak about the value of caregiving at the first annual United State of Women summit, June 14 – 15. Women who have shattered glass ceilings in every sector participated in the event, which drew 5,000 participants. Speakers and sessions focused on five pillars: economic empowerment; health and wellness; educational opportunity; entrepreneurship and innovation; and leadership and civic engagement.
The responsibilities of military and veteran caregivers span each of these focus areas. Caregivers provide a tremendous service to our nation, often without any financial support. They sacrifice career development, personal savings, and higher education to provide care. Caregiving increases emotional distress and distracts from self-care. Too often, caregivers endure intimate partner violence. And while military and veteran caregiving is not a women-only role, the majority of caregiving is provided by our veterans’ wives, mothers, and daughters.
Steve and Kat spoke about the sacrifices made by America’s hidden heroes. Additionally, they addressed the program and policy changes that can be made to help alleviate the pressures associated with caregiving. The panel also offered the opportunity to describe the resiliency, strength and extraordinary capabilities of military and veteran caregivers, which make them such a valuable resource for our nation.