The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) is proud to announce a powerful new partnership with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) that will benefit caregivers in military families. Informed by nine years of experience coaching military caregivers through its Operation Family Caregiver (OFC) program, RCI’s partnership with WWP will apply lessons learned and develop a new support program for family members.
The new program, named Operation Caregiver Support, combines RCI’s hallmark one-on-one coaching with a group component. Both the family support members WWP serves and current OFC participants enrolled in this program will have the opportunity to connect with caregiving peers, build a community of support, and learn new skills in an interactive, virtual group setting.
“To maximize the reach of RCI, we have built a network of phenomenal partners, and this exciting new initiative with Wounded Warrior Project is a perfect example,” said Dr. Jennifer Olsen, Executive Director of RCI. “Wounded Warrior Project is a name and a network that military families trust and respect, and through this partnership, we will be able to reach, support, and empower more veterans and caregivers than ever before.”
“I was a caregiver and I know what it takes to be there for someone you care about. I’m also far too familiar with what it means when our military members come home injured,” said COL. (Ret.) George L. Fredrick, RCI Board President. “Wounded Warrior Project is an exemplar in supporting military families, and it is an honor to work together to mitigate challenges military caregivers face.”
OFC began almost a decade ago, and more than 1,110 military families have benefited from the program to date. Specially trained coaches provide free, confidential, and one-on-one support to families of returning service members and veterans to help them find strength through their journey so they feel fully capable of living their best lives, regardless of what life throws at them. The program has proven to reduce caregiver depression and burden as well as health complaints, and caregivers report that children in the home have less anxiety. Caregivers who complete the OFC program feel more confident in their ability to manage day-to-day challenges, resulting in enhanced satisfaction with life.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to caregiver support. In creating an open and ongoing, bi-monthly peer support program through Operation Caregiver Support, as well as delivering individual coaching through OFC to WWP’s family support members, this partnership provides caregivers with the chance to engage and take advantage of programming at their own pace and comfort level. The partnership will allow WWP and RCI to learn together what approaches – whether individual, in group settings, or a combination of both — yield the greatest positive impact on veteran caregiver communities.
“Reaching out to ask for help takes courage,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington, whoserved with COL. Fredrick. “But when the warriors and caregivers we serve put themselves out there, they grow stronger. In partnering with the Rosalynn Carter Institute, we’re connecting veteran families with resources that can help them take care of themselves and improve their quality of life.”