Trump Backs Paid Leave For New Parents, But Ignores Those Caring For The Elderly


    The argument over parental leave to care for a newborn now focuses on adult child leave to care for ones aging parent. Some are calling for a new type of tax credit, others are calling for a bundle package for new and old parents, while others say the idea should sink – PB/TK

    Trump Backs Paid Leave For New Parents, But Ignores Those Caring For The Elderly – By Howard Gleckman / June 9 2017

    The Trump Administration believes that caring for babies is so important that employers should give their parents up to six weeks of paid leave. It apparently doesn’t believe it is as important, or as disruptive to work life, to care for aging parents or other relatives in need of personal assistance.

    That, at least, is the message it is sending in Trump’s 2018 budget. In a fiscal plan otherwise filled with cuts to government-funded social supports, the president proposed allowing states to use their unemployment insurance systems to fund paid family leave.  The U.S. is the only developed country in the world without a paid leave program.

    But if we are going to recognize the need to give workers time off to tend to the needs of their families, why limit that support to parents of new-borns or new adoptees?

    The Cost of Caring For Parents

    A new paper by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College describes the costs of carting for parents.  Gal Wettstein and Alice Zulkarnain find that about one of every six adult children will care for a parent at some point in their lives. They’ll spend an average of about 77 hours per month, or nearly 20 hours per week, caring for frail parents. That’s half a full-time job.

    Other studies have shown that adult children caring for parents are less likely to work and are likely to work fewer hours if they are employed. A 50-something daughter who leaves a job to care for a parent will forego, on average, $300,000 in lifetime income, including lost wages and retirement benefits.

    These caregivers report higher rates of depression and are more likely to be hospitalized themselves than non-caregivers of the same age.

    AARP has calculated that the economic value of family caregiving was $500 billion in 2012. Oh, and it turns out that it costs nearly twice as much to care for a frail senior than it does to raise a child from birth to age 17.

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