August 06, 2021
Care Can’t Wait!
“Caregivers need help”, said Roger Kennedy, of Springfield, “and if I could change anything about the system, it would be to provide an advocate to help caregivers navigate through”. Roger is the main caregiver for his wife, who is currently battling recurrent stage 4 ovarian cancer. “While we have been fortunate to have my state insurance, even then the stress and difficulty accessing care & resources is immense,” said Kennedy.
The majority of caregivers, like Roger, are unpaid family. Existing caregiving programs & services can be expensive and are difficult to navigate, with hundreds of thousands left on waiting lists. Given these dire concerns, IARA retiree leaders & our partners at Caring Across Generations have been meeting with members of Congress to share stories & request their support for more funding in this critical area.
Caregivers – both paid & unpaid – who are disproportionately women of color – have been underpaid and undervalued for far too long. Average wages for direct care workers are approximately $12 per hour, putting them among the lowest paid workers in our economy with 1 in 6 workers in this sector living in poverty.
The good news is that Congress has passed the American Rescue Plan with over $12.6 billion designated for home and community-based services (HCBS), and there is an opportunity to fight for another $400 billion that is proposed for HCBS in the American Jobs Plan.
This movement is growing, and we are advancing the call for care, but we need your support . For more information reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.