According to AARP data, Arizonans who provide care for veterans spend on average $11,500 of their personal income on out-of-pocket costs related to caregiving each year — 1.5 times higher than what other family caregivers spend ($7,242). And 43 percent of veteran and military caregivers experienced at least one financial setback such as having to take on more debt or dip into personal savings, according to research from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Across the country, more than 6.5 million veteran and military caregivers provide $14 billion in unpaid labor for America’s wounded warriors every year, which is why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers support and resources for caregivers of veterans enrolled in VA health care through the VA Caregiver Support Program.

This program provides caregivers with access to VA health care benefits, caregiver education, financial aid, mental health services and up to 30 days of respite care. But of the 508,958 veterans living in Arizona, only 37 percent have utilized their earned benefits at VA health care, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those wanting to learn more can visit

In addition, AARP offers free resources for veteran and military caregivers, including an AARP Financial Workbook for Veteran and Military Family Caregivers; Military Caregiving Guide for Veterans, Service Members and Their Families; and Mental & Emotional Health Support Guide from AARP and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. Learn about these resources and more at


Hello, North Central neighbor — thank you for visiting!

Sign up to receive our digital issue in your inbox each month.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.