Caregiving for our loved ones has become tough enough during this pandemic, especially for our military families. AARP is working to make these times easier for our military veterans and families. More than 864,000 veterans live in Ohio, 77% of whom are age 55 and older, and 13% of veterans have service-related disabilities. While many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders, traumatic brain injuries, etc. the resources for help to our heroes have been limited due to COVID-19.
Here are things that family caretakers of veterans can do to help alleviate some of the risks associated with providing care during a global pandemic:
1. Build a team of family and friends who can help with caretaking tasks.
2. Have a back-up plan in case the primary caregiver becomes ill.
3. Identify local delivery services like Meals on Wheels.
4. Have a two-week supply of essential items (food, water, medical supplies, and cleaning supplies).
5. Stock up in over-the-counter medicine and make medical appointments virtual if possible.
Another pain point for our veterans during these unprecedent times is isolation. AARP suggests that you make sure that your loved one is connected to others. You can use Zoom calls, Facetime, or ask family and friends to send cards or letters to help stay connected.
Lastly, we want our caregivers to take care of themselves, too. This will look different for each person, but we suggest reading a book, mediate, go for walk – do whatever helps you relieve stress.
With more information and resources, including a downloadable AARP Military Caregiving Handbook, please visit our website at AARP.org/Cincinnati.