Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 375 - Jun 10, 2009

I am sorry, but I am going to have to get back to everyone tomorrow night. I still have to pack yet as we are leaving in the morning. I just couldn't get Kevin to go to sleep (he's still actually awake) and it's impossible to get anything done while he is up.

I will say that this has been a very rough day and I sure hope tomorrow is better...


Jenna said...

This is going to be long, but I wanted you to read the National Military Family Association article pertaining to their attempt to get pay for family caregivers. This is taken directly from the NMFA newsletter.

2. Congress Holds Hearing on Support for Family Caregivers of Veterans: The Health Subcommittee of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, chaired by Representative Michael Michaud (D-ME/2nd), held a hearing on Thursday, June 4th to hear from the National Military Family Association and several other witnesses to identify gaps in support services for family caregivers of veterans. Barbara Cohoon, RN, Ph.D., Government Relations Deputy Director, National Military Family Association participated alongside Anna Frese, Caregiver, with the Wounded Warrior Project, and CDR RenĂ© Campos, USN (Ret.), Deputy Director, Government Relations, Military Officers Association of America.

Dr. Cohoon reminded the Subcommittee that behind every wounded service member and veteran is a wounded family. These family members take on the burden of the government by voluntarily providing care to their service member, often at a large cost. A recent report by the Center for Naval Analysis determined eighty-five percent of caregivers left employment or took a leave of absence from work or school while performing their caregiver duties. They found that the average loss of earnings per caregiver was approximately $3,200 per month.

Based on this information, the National Military Family Association proposed new types of financial compensation be established for caregivers. Compensation could begin while the service member is on active duty and should recognize the types of medical and non-medical care services provided by the caregiver. Our Association would also welcome a system that designates one person as the service member’s primary caregiver and provides standardized training and certification to that individual to appropriately address their loved one’s needs.

When asked about caregiver compensation later in the hearing, Dr. Cohoon again stated that compensation should be based on the varying levels of care that different service members require. She also told the Members that many family caregivers also provide preventative care, making it difficult to put a dollar value on the services they provide.

National Military Family Association, along with the other panelists, stressed the need for improved, seamless transition for service members between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many families have still not been assigned a Federal Recovery Coordinator leaving them with multiple individual case managers and too many decisions on what type of care to pursue, stated Dr. Cohoon.

When Rep. Michaud asked the panelists what the three most important components of future legislation were, Dr. Cohoon stated that the well-being of the caregiver is directly related to the well-being of the veteran and assistance should begin while the service member and caregiver are still on active duty status. Respite and drop-in child care, along with mental health providers, should be available to caregivers so that they can provide the best care to their service member.

National Military Family Association thanks the Subcommittee for the opportunity to testify at the hearing and for their constant attention to the well-being of veterans and their families. To read our full testimony from the hearing visit:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know to contact TSA at the airport and ask for the injured soldier program. They will have a special agent to meet you at the car, take you through the whole ordeal of the airport, including security and to the gate. They will have someone at the arrival airport there at the gate to get you bags and to your transportation. When I traveled with my injured son, I found this service to be most helpful. they handle bags, tickets, and take you right to the gate. I found it on the TSA website and there is a number to call to set it up. If you get someone who doesn't know about the program keep asking cause is really exists and is great. Sue