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 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

I am a caregiver to my husband James, a five-year Army Veteran that suffers from Avascular Necrosis, Lung Disorder, TBI and PTSD. I am responsible for assisting him with his activities of daily living and all of his personal hygiene. I monitor his daily medications as well as any and all appointments. I am responsible for all household duties.

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