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Investing in caregiving: a social, public health, and economic issue – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-10-19 04:45:35 –

NSWorking daughter, I recently embarked on a new uncertain stage in my career. It is to take paid leave for a seriously ill mother. Without my own children, I didn’t have to think about paid vacation. This new role in long-term care has rooted my cultural norms and values ​​as a second-generation immigrant in South Asia and as an only child in senior management at an American company.

I’ve been juggling responsibilities for years, but this isn’t the case. The pandemic sharpened my focus on the importance of home care. Home care strengthened the lessons learned from my public health training on health vulnerabilities. Balancing this work was a daunting task and forced me to make an important decision. My mother took care of me for the rest of my life, so now it’s time for me to take care of her.

In the United States, women, especially colored women, often feel that when faced with the opportunity to care for their loved ones, they must silently produce exemplary results, regardless of employment status.Caring for a loved one Difficult enough Without the additional mental and emotional tension of knowing that you are expected to do so without complaints or seeking help from others.

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I am one of the lucky ones.that’s all 20% of workers Paid leave is available in the private sector. Only 5% among low-wage workers.Unpaid leave for qualified workers Family and medical leave law, But legal exclusion Exclude about 44% of workers — Disproportionately female, colored, single parent.Only nine states and the District of Columbia Innovative state program..

For working daughters, the need to care for older parents can be expensive.

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Jennifer Olsen, my friend who is the CEO of Rosalynn Carter Institute for CaregiversAs I serve on the board, “Long-term care and work often clash. Without paid leave and flexible work policies, many of us have no choice but to reduce our work or quit our workforce altogether. NS Recent survey The percentage of caregivers who work full-time for the institute by public opinion strategy showed that a small number of people surveyed had access to paid leave. Two in ten said they had to quit their jobs to take care of their loved ones.

result?Adults over the age of 50 who quit their jobs to provide care lose Over $ 300,000 With income and savings after retirement. For women, especially colored women, the cost is high Adverse effects on their financial security It is even more fulfilling.

This is not just a personal or family issue.It also Health problems When Economic problems.. AARP estimates that US gross domestic product could grow by 5.5%, or $ 1.7 trillion, by 2030 if caregivers are better supported and able to maintain a workforce in the workplace.

Universal access to paid families and medical leave is an intervention that makes a difference.National paid family and medical leave programs like the House of Representatives Currently under considerationProvides up to 12 weeks of paid leave for workers who need to take care of their loved ones, as well as those who need time to take care of their own serious health problems or new children. .. National paid leave standards create the same opportunities for workers who are not currently taking paid leave through their employers, while at the same time helping to standardize the culture in which unpaid family care is of value.

Another part of the solution is to raise paid care for older people such as sick children and mothers by raising wages, improving training for paid caregivers through new public investments, and reducing family care costs. Is to improve access.Congress is also considering Increased historic funding Home-based and community-based services to achieve these two goals. In the United States 2.4 million workersDisproportionately women and colored women provide home and community-based care that serves the elderly and people with disabilities. They deserve fair wages and career ladders, and those who depend on them deserve more consistent care from a more rewarding and more experienced workforce.

Working children like me ensure that parents receive care, whether they spend money on themselves and our careers or rely on the work of professional caregivers. I’m struggling with optional patchwork to do. Investing in care for the elderly and young people is at the top of the list of priorities when Congress considers policies intended to “better rebuild”, and will do so during the upcoming fierce negotiations. Must be maintained. Policies that support caregiving, caregiving, and caregivers should not be delayed by an additional minute, not just “good to have”.

This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to have a new pandemic-fueled understanding of the political wind and the importance of investing in care. Investing in elderly care, childcare, paid family and medical leave is financially essential to the United States and, equally importantly, care for those in need and work, primarily me. That’s right for my daughter. For them.

Paurvi Bhatt is a US healthcare executive and a member of the board of directors of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers.



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