May is Military Caregiver Month
Designating the month of May as Military Caregiver month provides an opportunity to raise awareness that resources and support need to be given to those who provide care to our Veterans. This Saturday, May 9th was set to be the first “Calling All Veterans Day” hosted by RI Elder Info. And then COVID-19 arrived. We closely monitored the guidance from state officials and postponed the event to August. And COVID-19 persisted. Then Governor Raimondo announced that large events with more than 100 people will not be permitted this summer. It’s the right decision by the Governor both for the overall outcomes for this pandemic and in our case, for the health of our expected attendees. We have begun planning for 2021.
In Rhode Island there are over 9,000 WWII and Korean Veterans, over 21,000 Vietnam Veterans, and over 15,000 Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans. Not all of our Veterans have, or need, a caregiver.
In the age of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that resources are communicated that will empower Military Caregivers and the Veterans they care for with the information necessary to remain independent.
A list of health resources can be found here.
The VA offers support for caregivers through the Providence VA Hospital. You can reach their office by calling 401-273-7100 ext. 3283.
Once the COVID-19 crisis is over the following resources are expected to be available again.
The Diocese of Providence (401-421-7833) hosts the Visiting Veterans Corps which provides visitors, who are former military themselves, to elderly or disabled Veterans.
The Office of Healthy Aging (401-462-0569) program provides volunteers serves homebound elders in the community. Volunteers may be eligible to receive a tax-exempt stipend and mileage reimbursement.
The Jewish Collaborative Services of Rhode Island Partners in Care Program (401-331-1244) seeks volunteers to visit Veterans. Volunteers do not provide any personal care or medical services or do any heavy lifting, visit https://www.kicrestoration.com. JFS will match volunteers to the families with common interests.
RI Honor Flight (401-354-7905) is dedicated to honoring our Veterans by offering WWII and Korean War Veterans a no-cost trip to visit the memorials in Washington, DC.
West Bay Habitat for Humanity Veterans Build (401-732-6407) has a program to help maintain and preserve homes and make them more energy-efficient and affordable including critical home repairs to military veteran homeowners.
New Englanders Helping Our Veterans (401-649-2548) assists Veterans in need to give them easier access to help.