New Roadmap for Military Caregivers
Posted in Uncategorized on April 2, 2019
There’s no question that every caregiver has an individual, unique journey. There are, however, common threads through every caregiver experience and a new online tool seeks to help military caregivers navigate these common caregiving challenges.
Learn more about the "Caregiver Journey Map" and how it strives to help military caregivers best care for their loved ones.
Military Caregivers' Roadmap
The map is part of an ongoing effort to document the military caregiver journey and learn how caregiving affects financial, physical, psychological and social wellbeing. The Caregiver Journey Map is a living document that is growing and expanding as the foundation learns more about the caregiving experience.
The map gives information on the emotions and needs of caregivers at different points of the caregiving journey, as well as gives opportunities for intervention where medical providers, organizations and people can come alongside the caregiver to build a strong support network.
Created from interviews with experts and military caregivers, the map plots life experiences in a circular format split into three main sections:
- Becoming aware and adjusting
- Finding a rhythm
- Shifting priorities and seeking help
Starting with the moment the injury occurs, each stage has steps and experiences while also outlining key needs at that stage.
The map is designed to help caregivers better understand how they can help care for our aging and injured veterans. Laurel Rodewald, director of programs for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, says the map can “teach providers, non-profits, anyone who is interested in learning more… where there are points of intervention when their support can be most effective.
Officials also hope the map will give caregivers an idea of what to expect in the future as the care situation evolves.
Caregiver and foundation fellow, Hanna Nieskans, hopes the map can help new caregivers feel less isolated. She says of when her husband was injured in Iraq, “Something like this would have been an awesome resource at that time because I really felt isolated. I felt confused. I felt overwhelmed. I felt very unsure of what I was doing, and it felt like I was doing this by myself. This tool, I think could be so helpful for anyone who is going through the cycle of coming to grips with being a caregiver, and ultimately working toward balance in their life and thriving in that role.”