Caregivers and family members play a critical role in the “health and well-being” of traumatic brain injury survivors. However, this medical and personal care of another can result in an additional toll, specifically on the health and well-being of the caregivers. Last year, for example, the NIH published a report that concluded, “There is a definitive existence of psychological problems in overburdened caregivers.” This understanding is why, last month, the VA established a new Center of Excellence focused on caregivers. “Advocates say [that this Center] could significantly boost research and support for families caring for ailing veterans.” There are an estimated 5.5 million veteran caregivers in the United States and an unknown millions of other citizen caregivers.
In actuality, this Center is located at four VA sites – Texas, Florida, Utah, California. Steve Schwab, the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, whose mission is to “strengthen and empower America’s military caregivers and their families by raising public awareness, driving research, championing policy, and leading collaborations that make a significant impact on their lives,” has high hopes and believes, “This Center is going to own the research in this area and a lot of areas that are still undiscovered.”