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

Michelle Bassett

I have to stay strong and be resilient when my husband cannot be.

What moment did you realize you were a caregiver?

When my husband returned home from his deployment, it was like living with a stranger. At that moment I knew our lives would be forever changed.

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

Patience is key. Navigating a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is like watching the movie Groundhog Day over and over again. My husband doesn’t remember a lot of our conversations or activities, so I am in constant repeat mode.

How has your life changed since you became a caregiver?

My life has drastically changed since becoming a military caregiver. I am no longer able to just up and go. Everything takes planning and replanning because the situation can change so quickly.

My Story

Michelle is a caregiver to her husband James, a five-year Army veteran that suffers from avascular necrosis, lung disorder, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She is responsible for assisting him with his activities of daily living and all of his personal hygiene. Michelle monitors James's daily medications, as well as any and all appointments. She is responsible for all household duties.

Self-care is very important to Michelle, as she is a two-time breast cancer survivor and understands how simple self-neglect due to your busy life can lead to serious issues. She is passionate about inspiring both physical and mental health for caregivers.