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U.S: E-Caregiver Directory for Wounded Soldiers, Veterans

Image credits: health.mil

With only three taps on their smartphone, computer, or tablet, caregivers of injured service members can access more than 2,000 materials from the U.S. Defense Health Agency (DHA).

A caregiver for her husband who was in the U.S. Army, Jamela Davis said, “It offers you the flexibility so whenever you need to locate that information, whatever you’re searching for, it’s right there at your fingertips.”

The eCRD is perfect for the more than 300,000 caregivers of wounded soldiers and veterans, Jamela continued. “Although using a phone for navigation is so simple, some people find it a little scary. It is therefore a useful tool to have.”

DHA stated that users can quickly locate the category they’re looking for by looking at the table of contents when they first access the eCRD, they can view the list of available materials from there.

An electronic platform called eCRD is based on the National Resource Directory (NRD). For military personnel, veterans, family members, and caregivers, the NRD is a database of verified services that aid in recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration. The Departments of Labor, Veterans Affairs, and Defense are all involved in the effort.

One of its user-friendly aspects, according to Jonathan Morris with DHA’s Warrior Care Recovery Care Programmes Operations, is that when they update the NRD with new resources, they can be added to the eCRD right away with just a check box.

Other advances in the eCRD include straightforward navigation and link-based search, little scrolling, printing of single pages of text, and hyperlinks to each resource.

More than 300,000 free copies of the Caregiver Resource Directory have been given since it was first published in hard copy in 2015 and is updated yearly.

There are a variety of supports and resources available to caregivers and their families if they need to relocate so that the transition can be as seamless as possible.

By location, there are direct links to each of the military service relocation programmes, as stated by Morris.

He noted that the NRD and the eCRD connect moving caregivers and their families to programmes and agencies that assist them to settle in and provide virtual support through groups like the American Red Cross Military and Veterans Caregiver Network.

Caring for someone can be a fulltime commitment, so caregivers need to take care of themselves so they can keep doing their jobs and not get burned out.

Jamela added that she’s always looking for ways to rest and relax. This helps keep her mental health and well-being as a caregiver in good shape.

She has also used the Veteran Spouse Network and gone on caregiver retreats at an equestrian therapy ranch that has programmes for wounded warriors and their families. These programmes give her more “tools” for taking care of herself.

Also, emergencies can happen, and sometimes caregivers need help right away. Challenges for other caregivers could include anything from mental health to employment to education. Hence, caregivers need so much, and they just don’t know what kind of situation they will be in.

Users can also email the NRD and the content team will help them find resources even if those resources are in local communities churches.

Access to health care for caregivers, guides to community resources, caregiver resources for family members with traumatic brain injury, VA speciality resources for caregivers, and mental health support services for children of caregivers are the top five resources searched for this year on the eCRD and NRD.

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