Military Caregivers

The Military Caregiver Journey Map

How can we better understand the needs of military caregivers?


It’s more than likely that you or someone close to you is caring for a loved one. There are an estimated 5.5 million military caregivers in the United States. Of these, almost 20 percent are caring for post-9/11 veterans. While it can be a rewarding experience taking care of those we love, it can also be a lonely and difficult journey to navigate. Perhaps of all the challenges faced by military caregivers, the biggest is that the caregiving ecosystem was not built to meet many of the unique needs of military families.

The Military & Veteran Caregiver Experience Journey


We are working with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the preeminent organization supporting and honoring our nation’s Hidden Heroes, and leveraging insights from our 45-year partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs to pool our collective knowledge and understanding in order to map the caregiver journey. With consolidated input from more than 500 caregivers and members of the military caregiver support community, we’re bringing together the right participants steeped in Veteran care to help us build this never-before-seen tool to better understand how to ease the burden of caregivers, while providing the best care solutions available to our Veterans.
maggie military caregiver
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By bringing the experience of Veterans and their caregivers to life, from symptom to diagnosis to treatment to managing care, the Journey reveals a narrative with the Caregiver at the center of the conversation. It will be used as a discovery tool to drive change and demonstrate the full scope of a military caregiver’s role, their high priority needs, and where there are gaps in services and resources.

Impact


The Military and Veteran Caregiver Experience Journey is intended to capture the lived experiences of many military caregivers, providing a foundation for the military caregiver support community to begin thinking about addressing caregiver needs with greater understanding and coordination. By establishing a common platform, the Journey will help advocacy groups, healthcare leaders, Veterans and their families, caregivers, providers and members of the support system to:

  • Understand the caregiver journey, stages and milestones 
  • Recognize caregiver’s critical role and status by helping to normalize their experience and decreasing their sense of loneliness 
  • Become aware of what’s to come by educating about challenges 
  • Support service providers to identify the needs of the caregiver and recommend benefits, support and services 
  • Help caregivers to navigate issues that may arise, and organize and plan for the best care possible

 

We have discovered through our research, caregivers and the military caregiver support community are eager for a platform that accurately conveys their experiences and compels community-driven solutions. The Military & Veteran Caregiver Experience Journey serves as an anchor to empower the military caregiver support community to communicate the necessary requirements to align resources and fill the gaps in care. The insights and learnings derived from the map will help foster improvement of existing services, development of new innovations, and be used as a platform for continuous learning.

 

As the role of the military caregiver continues to evolve, their challenges will too. But with the development of the Military & Veteran Caregiver Journey Map, our goal is to continue closing the gaps around caregivers’ unmet needs.

 

Map will be complete in November 2018.

elizabeth dole foundation
We’ve collaborated with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and members of the caregiving support community to start a conversation and build a movement to make an impact on the lives of military caregivers.