» Number of Military Veteran Caregivers Grow, In Need of Support

Number of Military Veteran Caregivers Grow, In Need of Support

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) June 14, 2013 - There are currently at least 22 million U.S. military veterans, many of whom are cared for by family members on an ongoing or full-time basis.

New York Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney Bernard Krooks

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than 30 percent of the returning vets have clinical depression, traumatic brain injury and/or issues with post-traumatic stress disorder. It is estimated that one million people, spouses, parents and other relatives, are currently caring for these wounded warriors who have physical or psychological impairments, with no remuneration and little-to-no outside support.

Caregivers are dealing with issues previous generations never even had to consider, advocates say. Veterans have come back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with closed head injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and physical disability issues that need long-term care far beyond the VA's capacity. They may need assisting with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, walking or wheelchair transfers, or with psychological support efforts, or transportation to and from medical appointments and physical therapy.

As integral support members, caregivers may change wound dressings, dispense medications, manage pain and issues with fatigue, and must stay on top of a significant amount of complex paperwork and billing. The care they perform may be intense and around-the-clock, and may include informal mental health care for which the caregiver has no training.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has some benefits available to military caregivers, but like the backlog for returning vets, there is a massive backlog of caregiver claims, and information about benefits for caregivers is not widely publicized. The combination of delays in processing and lack of an overarching support system leave many caregivers without the resources they could desperately use.

While they care for and support the veteran, caregivers must also be adept at successfully navigating the complex VA system, working with multiple health professionals while juggling several care plans and coordinating treatment between the Veterans Health Administration and civilian medical care providers. They also often must oversee legal and financial issues for the vet under their care, and may also have dependent children and/or employment they need to maintain. The combination of stress and long hours often take a toll; caretakers have a higher-than-average incidence of employment loss, clinical depression, and financial debt.

One organization hopes to make a change. This March, former U.S. senator Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) launched The Elizabeth Dole Foundation to “help raise awareness of the enormous challenges facing the caregivers of the nation's military.” Though caregiver needs are pervasive, currently no national strategy exists for supporting them, nor has there been a comprehensive study done to adequately determine how to best meet their needs. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation has stated that it is dedicated to researching the challenges faced by caregivers, raising public awareness of their needs, and helping to empower them.

About Littman Krooks
Littman Krooks LLP provides sophisticated legal advice and the high level of expertise ordinarily associated with large law firms along with the personal attention and responsiveness of smaller firms. These ingredients, which are the cornerstone of effective representation and necessary to a successful lawyer/client relationship, have become the foundation of the firm’s success.

Littman Krooks LLP offers legal services in several areas of law, including elder law, estate planning, special needs planning, special education advocacy, and corporate and securities. Their offices are located at 399 Knollwood Road, White Plains, New York; 655 Third Avenue, New York, New York; and 300 Westage Business Center Drive, Fishkill, New York. For more information about Littman Krooks LLP, visit the website at: www.littmankrooks.com.

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
[email protected]

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone

View Larger Map

  • The Medicare “Donut Hole” Explained
    Seniors and others with Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) should be aware of the coverage gap known as the “donut hole,” so that they can plan properly for the cost of their medication. Most Medicare prescription drug plans have a “donut hole” coverage gap, which means that when you have spent a certain amount […]
  • Making Decisions on Senior Housing
    When an older person needs care and can no longer live with full independence, the senior and his or her family are faced with a number of decisions to make. There is often a range of choices available such as assisted living, in-home care, or a skilled nursing facility, and the task of deciding what […]
  • The Dispute Over Robin Williams’ Estate
    One year after the death of Robin Williams, a legal battle over his estate continues. Despite the fact that Williams’ estate was planned with a certain degree of sophistication, several disputes have arisen between his widow and his three children from two previous marriages. Williams’ estate plan provides that his widow be able to live […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required