While most people think of caregiving involving senior citizens, more caregivers than ever have been providing loving care for military veterans. Many of these men and women are in their 20s or 30s and there is no doubt that this community is underserved.

A 2014 RAND Corporation study commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation determined that 5.5 million men and women are now military caregivers. Experts believe that these caregivers provide $14 billion in care each year. As any caregiver knows, the time commitment, emotional stress and family and financial strain can be a lot for anyone to take.

The effects of military caregiving are most obvious for families who care for post-9/11 vets. Many of the caregivers of this generation of military veterans are young. In fact, 37% of them were not even 18 when 9/11 occurred. The veterans also are young, which prevents many of them from participating in many caregiving programs that are designed for senior citizens.

For many military caregivers, their routine is the same as caring for a senior. They administer medications, manage multiple doctor appointments, get food ready, act as a counselor, deal with finances and fill out complex paperwork.

If you are caring for a military loved one, consider getting involved with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. For example, as a fellow with that organization, you can work with many leaders and organizations and get others to commit to making a big difference in the lives of caregivers. You also can encourage other military caregivers to get involved, to share their stories and to help find more funds for support and research.

Also remember that we provide excellent caregiver products that can be of great use to a military caregiver. For example, our line of Medibead Wraps are wonderful, warming, soothing therapy for sore joints, limbs and muscles: