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Disabled Veterans’ Caregivers Finally Get Recognition in DC

New Legislation Would Provide New Assistance to Veterans’ Supporters.

We’ve seen the news reports: thousands of dedicated, devoted, loving spouses and parents of a seriously wounded Veteran leave their jobs to provide 24/7 care at home.  Finally, these families are getting the recognition they earned, and, hopefully, the assistance they need from Congress.

Last week, Senator Patty Murray (D-MA), a stalwart ally of America’s Veterans, delivered a stirring speech on the United States Senate floor introducing important new legislation designed to greatly improve the lives of our sick and wounded Veterans and their all-important caregivers.

The Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act follows the release of a RAND Corporation report commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation that calls attention to the great challenges faced by America’s caregivers who are most often a parent or spouse of seriously wounded, injured, or ill Veteran.

“Too often these caregivers sacrifice their income, their relationships and even their own health to look after their loved one who is ill or injured as a result of serving our country,” said Murray, whose new bill was introduced one day before First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) at the White House to discuss the caregiver issue as part of their Joining Forces Initiative.

Many Improvements for Families

Meanwhile, America’s caregivers are going high tech. As Federal Times reported last week, VA is more than halfway through its rollout of hundreds of specially loaded Apple iPads to caregivers of seriously injured post-9/11 vets that began last May.

Included on these 879 tablet computers are nearly a dozen apps for Veterans and their caregivers, including some that allow patients to journal and track vital signs and moods. VA is collecting preliminary data on those recipients. The goal is to expand the apps for wider use across VA’s Veteran and caregiver population.

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