The AARP is calling on the government to require employers to provide paid sick leave, promote paid family medial leave, and expand the Family Medial Leave Act to include caregivers of grandparents and domestic partners.
The recommendations are coming in light of a recent
study that found caregivers of ill or disabled family members must often sacrifice their careers in order to do so. This social phenomena disproportionally affects women like Beth Arnold, whose husband has progressing Alzheimer’s Disease.
The AARP estimates three out of four of the women who serve as relied-upon caregivers for a family member must juggle that responsibility with their jobs. Furthermore, one out of four people retire earlier than they had planned in order to assume the role of caretaker for a loved one.
Only 12 percent of workers have access to paid family leave benefits, and those benefits often don't kick in if someone needs time off to care for a spouse or grandparent. 40 percent of workers have no paid sick days.