HOME CARE SPOTState lawmakers recently passed the Employee Sick Leave Act, which allows family caregivers to use up to half of their sick leave benefits at work to take time off for a family member’s illness, injury or medical appointments. AARP Illinois was the leading advocate for the new law, which will take effect Jan. 1.

More than 1.5 million Illinoisans are family caregivers, and many struggle to balance their paid work with the responsibilities of caring for a sick parent, spouse, sibling or child. Without this law, some had to make tough choices such as whether to cut back on work hours or quit their jobs altogether to be able to care for their loved ones.

“Businesses will also benefit,” said Bob Gallo, AARP state director. “This law is likely to improve employee morale by reducing stress and offering support and flexibility for family caregivers.”

To learn more, go to aarp.org/il.