Familes of veterans spend more on caregiving

Posted on 11/08/23

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RALEIGH, NC – North Carolinians who provide care for veterans spend on average $11,500 of their personal income on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving each year—1.5 times higher than what other family caregivers spend ($7,242), according to AARP data. And 43 percent of veteran and military caregivers experienced at least one financial setback such as having to take on more debt or dip into personal savings, according to research from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

AARP North Carolina Director Michael Olender said, “North Carolinians caring for our veterans should not have to worry about finances on top of their caregiving responsibilities, yet many do,” said “AARP’s free resources can help these hidden heroes build a more secure financial future.”

Across the country, more than 6.5 million veteran and military caregivers provide $14 billion in unpaid labor for America’s wounded warriors every year—putting their own financial well-being aside—and at risk.

“The financial challenges veteran and military caregivers face are too often invisible or ignored,” said Pete Jeffries, National Director of AARP’s Veterans & Military Families Initiative. “Caregiving responsibilities and expenses add up over time. From high prescription drug costs to handling medical tasks for combat-related injuries, these caregivers need support to make it easier for loved ones to live independently in their homes for as long as they can.”

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers support and resources for caregivers of veterans enrolled in VA health care through the VA Caregiver Support Program. This program provides caregivers with access to VA health care benefits, caregiver education, financial aid, mental health services and up to 30 days of respite care. But of the 744,901 veterans living in North Carolina, only 34 percent have used their earned benefits at VA health care, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

AARP and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation will host a webcast on the financial impact of veteran and military caregiving at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, November 15. AARP Caregiving Expert Amy Goyer and the Dole Foundation’s Financial Wellness Program Manager Shawn Moore will share experiences and insight from their personal caregiving journeys and provide expert advice on how to build a secure financial future.

AARP offers free resources for veteran and military caregivers, including:

For more information on AARP’s support for veterans and military families, visit aarp.org/veterans.

This story is provided by AARP North Carolina. Visit the AARP North Carolina page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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