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Paid sick days are good for caregivers

Each day, more and more Americans become caregivers to their elderly and disabled loved ones. These Americans need paid sick days in order to tend to the needs of the adults in their care without the risk of losing their jobs. Read on to learn more about why paid sick days are so critical for American caregivers:

Did you know?

  • Millions of Americans care for ill and aging family members

    A third of workers, both women and men, report they have cared for an older relative in the past year (1). The Family Caregiver's Alliance reports that 44 million adults provide support to older people and adults with disabilities who live in their communities (2).

  • Why? Long term care is costly, and caregiving is often the only viable option

    The AARP reports that a semi-private room in a nursing home costs approximately $66,000 per year. A home health aide could cost $10,000 a year for just three hours of care per week (3). Most American workers cannot afford the high costs of long-term care, which are not covered by Medicare. Instead, millions of Americans juggle caring for their ill and aging family members themselves and working to earn a living. Paid sick days ensure that caregivers have access to a minimum standard of paid time off in order to tend to the various needs of adults in their care.

  • As our population ages, the need for paid sick days increases

    The need for paid sick days to support caregivers is increasing. The population of adults age 65 and older will double during the next 25 years. By 2030, there will be 71 million older adults, accounting for roughly 20% of the U.S. population (4). Astonishingly, half of the labor force will be caregivers by 2012 (5). A minimum standard of paid sick days is critical in order to ensure that all caregivers are given the opportunity to take paid time off to care for their loved ones.

The bottom line: now is the time to enact a minimum standard of paid sick days so that caregivers don't have to choose between their jobs and their ill and aging loved ones.

Want more facts? Knowledge is power! Click here to return to the "Learn More" page.

Sources:

1. Families and Work Institute, Highlights of the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce, 2002.

2. Family Caregiver’s Alliance: Caregiving and Retirement: What Happens to Family Caregivers Who Leave the Workforce (2003).

3. AARP, "What Does Long-Term Care Cost? Who Pays?

4. The State of Aging and Health in America 2007, CDC/Merck Company

5. AARP, How Employers Can Support Working Caregivers