Plug yourself into all the resources that you can find, because you cannot anticipate when you may need something along your journey, and knowing where to reach out for help along the way will save you time and stress.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to other military and veteran caregivers?
Take time for yourself, which is easier said than done, but is vital to surviving this journey!
What does being a military or veteran caregiver mean to you?
It means that I am part of a larger family and network of people that share similar sorrows, joys, experiences, and journeys, as I do.
What is a quote that inspires you or keeps you motivated?
“This too shall pass”
Knowing her Army veteran father Thomas was in declining health, Lynnette resigned from her position as an advertising and marketing professional. After more than 20 years in Los Angeles, she moved back to Kentucky to care for him. She knew she made the right decision when shortly after she arrived, Thomas suffered a health setback that would keep him in the hospital for two weeks.
Thomas had been wheelchair-bound for many years due to military-related injuries and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2017. However, after contracting COVID in 2020, he became completely bedridden. His overall healthcare has also declined due to aging with the development of neuropathy, COPD, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The second of seven kids, Lynnette has always considered herself a natural caregiver. She helps Thomas with all his daily activities and manages his healthcare. After spending much of her savings to provide full-time care, Lynnette recently rejoined the workforce and now balances a contract position with the government and caring for her dad. She is fortunate to be able to work from home for a supervisor who understands and supports her role as a caregiver.
Between work and caregiving, Lynnette struggles to find quality time to spend with her family, husband, and friends. She often feels trapped in the house and wishes she could find a better work-caregiving-me-time balance.
Lynnette wants to help others who are just starting their caregiving journey or simply need to tap into someone with shared experiences. She often sees caregivers having a tough time asking for and accepting help, including herself. Lynnette continues to work on accepting the realization that she can’t do it all and takes to heart the meaning of “it takes a village!”