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Study: Military Caregivers Need More Support

U.S. Army

Wounded soldier and his wife.

There are nearly one million Americans who are charged with taking care of an injured service member - and almost all of them are women, according to a new Rand report.

The study finds military caregivers fit a different profile than civilian caregivers; the average military caregiver is a young mother with children at home to care for:

Military caregivers are younger and tend to live with the individual they care for, relative to civilian caregivers who tend to be older adults caring for elderly parents...

Military caregivers must navigate multiple systems of health care and benefit providers for individuals who often face complex injuries and illnesses.

A day in the life of military caregivers includes bathing, feeding, and dressing their injured loved ones...along with taking care of their family's financial and legal needs.

Terri Tanielian, the study's lead author, said her research shows there needs to be a better understanding of how to help military caregivers.

“Just as the nation's longest period of wartime has posed challenges for the military, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created hardships on the family members and others who provide care to the wounded warriors once they return home.

"Unfortunately, we know relatively little about this group of caregivers and there is no unified effort to make sure their needs are being met.”

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