The Elizabeth Dole Foundation and the VA are working together to expand a respite care program for military families, with plans to use it as a proving ground for future programs.
The Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers program is expanding nationwide to give veteran family caregivers a break by providing no-cost, short-term aid in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The VA will review the program to launch a new partnership model for how the public and private sectors can work together during times of crisis to support military and veteran families.
“We care about the well-being of military and veteran caregivers, and want to provide these hidden heroes with trusted support so they can take time to focus on themselves,” according to a statement on the foundation’s website.
MOAA has been an advocate for caregivers, working alongside and in-partnership with the foundation. The groups partnered to create Tips for Lifelong Caregiving, a collection of resources for caregivers, and last year, MOAA attended the foundation’s launch of the Academy for Inclusive Care initiative that pairs caregivers with medical teams from the first appointment.
The Respite Relief for Military and Veteran Caregivers program launched in August in select regions of California, Florida, and Texas. Under the program, caregivers of veterans can apply to receive 24 hours of respite care from a CareLinx professional to help with companionship, cooking, exercising, grooming, light housekeeping, medical and medication reminders, mobility assistance, transportation, and other activities. The services are no cost to the veteran or the caregiver.
Since the program’s limited launch, more than 3,132 hours of respite care have been delivered to veteran and military caregivers, according to the VA. Respite care allows families opportunities to take a break from their work and use time for themselves.
Qualified caregivers can apply for the program online. Questions about the application process, eligibility, or other issues with the program can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.