In a more than 2,833-word article, the Minneapolis Star Tribune (6/5, Crosby) reports, “Growing numbers of Americans face the immense and often overwhelming challenge of caring for an aging parent or other loved one, a burden that will skyrocket as 76 million baby boomers move into their 80s” in the coming years. Their burden is amplified, the article says, by the fact that many family caregivers “have full-time jobs” and families tend to be “more geographically dispersed.” The article cites Susan Reinhard, director of AARP Public Policy Institute, who said much of the problem traces back to the nation’s outdated approach to healthcare and caregiving. “This is an army, an invisible workforce that needs to be helped,” Reinhard said. “You need to give them training. You need to support them. And they need a break, as if they were on a job.” The article goes on to discuss the nation’s pending “demographic crossroad” and to explore solutions.
Minnesota’s Working Caregivers Struggle With Leave Policies.
In a 2500-word piece, the Minneapolis Star Tribune (6/4, Crosby) highlights the struggles faced by working family caregivers, as “growing numbers of American workers will confront” the “dilemma” of “how to take care of an aging parent and still hold a job” and “surveys show that more than two-thirds of those caring for their frail loved ones suffer job-related difficulties.” One caregiver advocated stated that the US is “still using caregiving policies from the 1950s, when many more families were composed of one breadwinner and one stay-at-home parent providing unpaid family care,” and the Tribune says that “the need for workplace policies to support the nation’s 25 million family caregivers has never been more pressing.” The Tribune identifies the inadequacies of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as they apply in the cases of several of Minnesota’s caregivers and notes that “a small but growing number of large companies have established paid-leave policies or expanded existing coverage to attract and hold on to skilled workers.”