Who are Caregivers?
Caregivers are the people who rise to the challenge when a loved one has a need that they cannot accomplish without help. Everyone associated with BVA has some degree of relationship with this concept. Remember when that “jerk in the little white coat said ‘you’re done!’” Then VA sent a letter to the state and medically revoked your driver’s license. Finally, you had to go back to your family and friends and, basically, start over. Who was the one to support you, give you rides, be there when you felt down, encourage you, and say “I am here for you”?
That is/was your special caregiver. Remember that they have as much to learn as you do. They can become your best helper toward success and advocating for yourself. But they will have oopsies too. Communicate your feelings as well as your needs.
Blindness may – or may not – have been your first need for a caregiver; and, guaranteed, it won’t be your last. Communicate, then prepare:
1. What do you really want to do?
2. How will you accomplish it?
3. What do you anticipate your needs to be?
4. What do you anticipate the roadblocks to be?
5. How can your special caregiver assist you with advocating for your success?
Work together as veteran and caregiver. Communicate, plan, and Rise to the Challenge before you!
Patricia Hail, BVAA Reporter