Beth Finkel headshotContacts: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org; David Irwin, dirwin@aarp.org

Association Says Policy Would Help Family Caregivers Continue Providing $32 B Annually in Care, Improve Workplace Productivity, Save Taxpayers Money

Statement by Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York State:

“This issue is not only about helping parents who need time to care for newborns; it’s also about helping grown children care for their own elderly parents and loved ones.

“Not only is family leave compassionate, it’s good for our economy and our taxpayers. It would improve workplace productivity by allowing employee-caregivers to concentrate on the job when they’re on the job. And it would allow family caregivers to help more of our frail elderly age with the independence and dignity they deserve in their own homes – rather than in expensive, taxpayer-funded nursing homes.

“As New York’s population continues to age, there will be more frail elderly needing care from fewer potential family caregivers. Helping family caregivers is growing more critical by the day, and could prevent what is now a crisis from becoming a full-blown disaster.

“AARP thanks Speaker Silver and the Assembly Majority for supporting this important step. Given the fact that Senator Klein and the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference have also proposed family leave, we believe it’s closer to becoming a reality in New York and should be part of the final state budget.”

Background:             

More than four million family caregivers in New York provide  care valued at $32 billion annually to our frail elderly parents, spouses and loved ones, an AARP study found.

A looming demographic shift will leave fewer already-stressed caregivers to care for a growing number of frail elderly in need, according to another national AARP report.

A 2006 MetLife study found that American employers lose as much as $33 billion a year in productivity because of employees’ caregiving obligations. Family leave would help allow working New Yorkers to concentrate on the job when on the job.

A typical female family caregiver forfeits nearly $325,000 – conservatively – between lost wages from having to leave a job early or cut back on hours, lost Social Security benefits, and lost pension benefits, according to a 2010 MetLife study.

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

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