Elizabeth Dole Foundation
Hidden Heroes
Caregiver Journey Map Campaign for Inclusive Care

Ida Carson

To be an effective caregiver, you must take care of yourself!

How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? What sacrifices have you had to make?

My life has been enriched since I became a caregiver, I’ve grown as an individual and have challenged my son to not ever give up. I spend plenty of sleepless nights at the foot of his hospital bed. However, I would do it over and over again.

What are the most significant lessons you have learned from being a caregiver?

Humility and patience.

What does being a military caregiver mean to you?

It means having the resources to be able to provide care to someone who gave his all, so we could experience freedom and peace at all levels.

My Story

Ida became a caregiver when her husband was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. In 2012, her son returned from war to help her get through this tough time. He began to show signs of stress and had relentless migraines. Ida knew something was different, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Days later, her son began to show signs of traumatic behavior and depression, as he was returning from war to face a loss he wasn’t expecting. He coped with hidden wounds and surface scars and shrapnel throughout his body. He was determined not to stay in that situation, so Ida began to search for outside help.

As a Dole Caregiver Fellow, she wants to make sure that resources and tools are available not only to veterans, but also their children, siblings, and entire family. She wants to continue to be an advocate for caregivers who sometimes feel all alone. Ida wants to make sure that the veterans mind, body, and spirit as well as their finances, are taken care of.