When Senator Bob Dole was recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Senator Elizabeth Dole experienced firsthand the tremendous challenges facing the loved ones caring for our military veterans.
In response, she established the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and as a first step, commissioned the RAND Corporation to develop the first comprehensive, evidence-based national study of military and veteran caregivers. This two-year study, Hidden Heroes: America’s Military Caregivers, examined the needs of these caregivers, as well as gaps in services and recommendations for filling those gaps. The study revealed a societal crisis requiring a national response.
The problem military caregivers face is two-fold: First, they do not necessarily think of themselves as caregivers and, in turn, feel uncomfortable asking for help. This makes them difficult to identify. Second, very few services and helpful resources serve military caregivers, specifically. We want to address these problems by providing a continuum of care to military caregivers.
The Foundation continues to identify and address the most pressing issues military caregivers face across the nation. Later this year, the Foundation will release a follow-up RAND report.