Elizabeth Dole, whose foundation raises awareness of and support for American families that provide care for wounded veterans, is the 2014 recipient of AARP’s highest honor. The Ethel Percy Andrus Award — named for AARP’s founder — is given every two years to an individual whose work and achievements reflect AARP’s vision of a society in which everyone ages with dignity and purpose.
Dole, a former U.S. senator, Cabinet member and president of the American Red Cross, “has been a fearless advocate for the more than 1 million family members who provide care, often day and night, for sons and daughters, husbands and wives who were injured during combat. Often they are the only available, knowledgeable or trusted person to provide such care,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP CEO.
“Our research tells us that unpaid family members provide more than $450 billion worth of at-home care,” Jenkins said. “Among them are the families of America’s wounded warriors. We salute Elizabeth Dole for drawing attention to this group of exhausted but tireless, undervalued but invaluable caregivers.”
The Andrus Award includes a $10,000 donation to the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. It was presented at an AARP board of directors dinner last month. Past recipients include poet Maya Angelou, basketball coach Pat Summitt, geneticist Francis Collins and Gen. Colin Powell. Jenkins said all the recipients embody Andrus’ philosophy: “to serve, not to be served.”
For more information on the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and America’s military caregivers, go to elizabethdolefoundation.org.
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