Help for Family Caregivers

While traveling to Erie, Pa., for a town meeting on family caregiving, I was reflecting on my family roots. A little more than 100 years ago, my Lithuanian grandparents immigrated to America and made Shenandoah, Pa., their first hometown. My grandfather worked in the coal mines and my grandmother, fluent in six languages, worked various jobs while raising five children – one of whom was my mom. My grandparents taught me about hard work and perseverance, and my parents taught …

Supporting Family Caregivers With Leave Policies in the Workplace

My sisters and I are long-distance caregivers for our 92-year old mom. We have already experienced this profound caregiving journey, having cared for our dad for nearly seven years before he died at age 94. We know how overwhelming and stressful it can be to juggle work and caregiving responsibilities. But my sisters and I are far from alone. Many of my work friends and colleagues are family caregivers too. Nearly two out of three (62%) workers aged 45 to …

Face the Facts: Family Caregivers Work

Here we go again. More black-and-white confirmation that elder responsibilities often negatively impact both employees and companies. A new fact sheet out from the AARP Public Policy Institute, in chilling percentages, shows the enormity of the issue and the need to implement or enhance workplace programs. Let me lay it out. Here are the statistics I found particularly revealing: 61 percent of family caregivers age 50-plus work either full-time (50 percent) or part-time (11 percent). 42 percent of U.S. employees have …

Protecting Caregivers from Discrimination in the Workplace

Working caregivers, have you heard that tone of voice from your workplace manager? You know the one where it sounds like he’s perpetually disappointed in you? You’re not imagining it. It’s real, or so says a new report by AARP. According to our report, a staggering 42 percent of U.S. workers provided unpaid eldercare in the past five years, while 49 percent expect to do so for a family member or friend in the coming five years. The average caregiver is a …

Caregivers: Leave Rights Clearer in New FMLA Guide

Last week  the Department of Labor (DOL) released a guide on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that working family caregivers may find invaluable. The step-by-step, easy-to-read resource outlines who is eligible for FMLA, how employees can apply for and take leave and their rights to keep their job when they’re ready to return to work. FMLA allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for, among other reasons, caregiving for loved ones who are ill. …

The High Cost of Caregiving

By Mary Hickey Caring for an older family member is costly to both families and employers – and it’s time for the workplace to develop policies to help people juggle the competing demands of work and caregiving responsibilities. That was the bottom-line message from Cheryl Matheis, senior vice president of policy for AARP, who was interviewed on National Public Radio this morning as part of an ongoing series on caregiving. “When people have to leave their jobs [to care for …