Ensuring Care for our Caregivers through Telehealth
August 14, 2020
We are always looking at ways we can further support our military families, veterans, and deployed service members. Most recently, Soldiers’ Angels began providing much-needed telehealth services for caregivers.
Prior to COVID-19, we sent out a series of surveys to help identify unmet needs in the military community. One of those surveys was sent to our Women of Valor Caregivers. The Women of Valor program focuses on the female caregivers of post-9/11 wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans. The caregivers may be the wife, girlfriend, mother or other female relative of the wounded hero.
Being a caregiver is an incredibly difficult job – one that you do not choose to do, but are left to do so that you can take care of the ones you love. The Women of Valor Team was founded in 2014 because we recognized how great the need was to support these women who are often going through difficult times with little to no support and encouragement. Our team of Angels focuses on providing support, encouragement and “Angel Love” to these ladies in multiple ways. But we felt like there was more we could be doing. And we were right.
“As a caregiver, it is sometimes so hard to get the time to take care of ourselves. We tend to put our own health on the back burner.”– Marci, Military Caregiver Supported by Soldiers’ Angels Women of Valor
Our survey showed that beyond the encouragement and pampering our Angels were providing, mental health/medical services were desperately needed. Taking care of a wounded spouse or loved one is very demanding and can take a toll on the physical and mental health of the caregiver. Caregivers of Post-9/11 wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans are not always able to go to a counselor due to their busy schedules. But what if these caregivers could access telehealth support so that they don’t have to leave their homes for care?
As an organization that supports military caregivers, we wanted to make mental health and medical services more accessible to these caregivers. That meant making these services free and flexible. Taking into mind their busy schedules, we thought telehealth for caregivers would be the perfect fit!
After much research and many calls to telehealth providers, we are excited to announce that we will be funding a new telehealth program for caregivers and working with MDLIVE to provide the care! Upon signing up, our caregivers will be able to set up appointments online using either a computer, tablet, or phone to see a doctor for either medical or behavioral health. MDLIVE’s behavioral health services offer licensed therapists that are able to help with anxiety, depression, PTSD, bipolar, stress management, relationship issues, and more. Medical appointments will include visits with a doctor relating to non-emergency conditions like common cold, allergies, headache, sore throat, fever, flu, etc. The best part: Soldiers’ Angels will be funding these services at no cost to those caregivers registered for our Women of Valor Program!
“I got an email asking for a review of the MDLive that Soldier’s Angels have so graciously provided for us. Tonight, I tried it out. Went on the website, asked for an appointment, filled out a small questionnaire and within 5 minutes I was talking with a really awesome doctor and explaining everything to her. Fifteen minutes after that, she sent over a script to my pharmacy for antibiotics. Y’all, you have no idea the weight that was lifted just by knowing that I can finally get medical help too. No more being too busy. No more excuses. And it was free for me to do this. Zero, nada, zilch! Because this group worked their butts off to provide us with this service.”– Marci, Military Caregiver Supported by Soldiers’ Angels Women of Valor, MDLive Patient
As you know, we have shifted a lot during this pandemic so that we can better serve the military community during these times of uncertainty. We are so grateful that this partnership was already in the works because telehealth services are needed now more than ever.