June 23, 2024 10:19 pm
Science and Medicine: Supporting Those Who Care for Veterans

Family members caring for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at a higher risk of experiencing suicidal thoughts themselves, according to research by Roxana Delgado, PhD, the director of the Caring for the Caregiver program at UT Health San Antonio. In fact, Delgado found that approximately 24% of 500 caregivers admitted to considering suicide since becoming caregivers.

Delgado’s work has led to the creation of the Military and Veteran Caregiver Portfolio, which focuses on examining the health outcomes of military caregivers. Through this research, she identified that caregiving can be challenging and may even result in suicidal thoughts. However, she emphasizes that these feelings should not be considered normal and encourages others in similar situations to seek help and support.

To alleviate feelings of hopelessness and isolation among caregivers, resources such as the Academy for Inclusive Care have been developed. This program trains healthcare providers on how to involve caregivers in the creation of treatment plans, with the goal of improving overall care outcomes. By including caregivers in the process, better services can be delivered, ultimately leading to improved quality of life for all involved.

As part of Science & Medicine, a collaborative effort between TPR and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to showcase advancements in scientific discovery in San Antonio and their impact on medical practices globally.

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