Brain-Injured Vets, Home Caregivers, Get Boost In New Law

A serious brain injury can happen in a number of different ways.  The most common cause of brain injury is a trauma from a slip-and-fall accident or an auto crash. Separately, it is widely acknowledged that brain trauma has become the “signature” injury in Iraq and Afghanistan combat. Treatment breakthroughs for our military vets will also help everyone with brain-related conditions. But as we noted below, no matter the rate of recovery, or amount of symptoms, most brain injury causes permanent harm to the injured person. Brain injuries also take a huge  physical, emotional, psychological, and financial toll on the victim’s loved ones.

On May 5, President Obama signed a bi-partisan bill that s expected to improve treatment options for military vets with brain damage. The Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act will give veterans with traumatic brain injuries more access to private care outside the VA hospital system, increase services for female and homeless veterans, and provide more care in rural areas. Perhaps most significantly, the law provides training and stipends to those caring for wounded service members in their family.

According to the McClatchy news service, the measure unanimously passed by Congress “sets up new training and certification for the family caregivers, access to ongoing support services, counseling and mental-health services, respite care, medical care and a monthly personal-caregiver allowance.”

The news media has primarily credited Army Sgt. Ted Wade (a wounded Iraq veteran) and his wife Sarah, with lobbying for these expanded benefits. Congratulations to the Wades and all others who helped to get this bill to the president’s desk.

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