— By Christina Hernandez Sherwood Two years ago, Lorri Smalls left South Carolina for New Jersey to help care for her aunt, Terri Ago, who is in her 70s. The women share an apartment in East Orange and Smalls, 44, accompanies Ago to doctor appointments, cooks meals, mends clothes and assists her aunt with other needs. Smalls said she volunteered for this role out of love, but has spent thousands of dollars along the way. “Caregiving is a compassionate gift that …

—   En Español.  AARP New York and the Paid Family Leave Coalition fought for the Paid Family Leave program because family caregivers who work shouldn’t have to choose between caring for a loved one or losing their jobs. And beginning in January, we will reach that goal when one of the strongest Paid Family Leave laws in the nation takes effect. Here are five things you should know about New York’s upcoming Paid Family Leave program: 1) What is paid …

— By Kelly Soderlund In a boost for family caregivers who work outside the home, a new state law allows employees to use their existing sick leave benefits to care for their loved ones. The Eligible Leave for Employee Caregiving Time (ELECT) law went into effect in January and applies to both paid and unpaid personal sick leave. It allows workers to use a portion of their annually available personal sick leave for family caregiving responsibilities. That could help some of …

AARP will be fighting for 50+ Marylanders in Annapolis in 2018

— A new legislative session begins Jan. 11, and AARP Maryland is advocating on behalf of state residents age 50-plus. The state office is backing proposals to provide sick leave for the 40 percent of private-sector workers who don’t have that benefit and to require drug companies to explain how they price pharmaceuticals. These advocacy efforts will kick off with a rally at the Miller Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen St., in Annapolis, on Jan. 25, from 8 a.m. to 2 …

— There are nearly 600,000 family caregivers in Minnesota who are taking care of an adult relative, spouse or friend.  There are even more who are caring for children or grandchildren and most of these unsung heroes are doing so while working, raising families and trying to save for their kids college or their own retirement.  And most are doing so without basic workplace protections.  In fact, only 13 percent of Minnesota workers have paid family and medical leave through their employers.  AARP …

— Both chambers of the General Assembly have passed a bill that would allow workers who are also family caregivers to use up to six months of accrued sick leave annually to care for their loved ones. AARP Illinois supports the bill and is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) to sign it into law. About 1.6 million Illinoisans are family caregivers, and about 60 percent of caregivers nationwide also work outside the home. Among Illinois workers, 56 percent have some paid …

— For many workers, getting the flu or having a sick kid presents a terrible dilemma: Come to work ill, or stay home and lose a day’s pay. New Jersey is leading the way in helping private sector workers get some relief. In a move backed by AARP, Plainfield became the 12th city in the state to pass a law requiring private employers with 10 or more workers to allow them to earn paid sick leave to tend to their own …

— Under a new state law, every worker in Vermont will be able to earn sick leave. About 60,000 Vermonters will no longer face the difficult choice of having to go to work sick or lose a day’s pay—or worse, lose their job. Workers will be able to use their sick leave to care for themselves or for a family member. “With passage of this bill, many workers caring for children or elderly parents can now take their loved ones to …

— Family caregivers make sacrifices daily to ensure their loved ones receive the necessary care and attention required to help them continue to live independently. Working caregivers face additional stress when attempting to balance work and the demands associated with caregiving, some even coming to the decision to leave work to care for a loved one. The Eligible Leave for Employee Caregiving Time (ELECT) bill filed in the Illinois House of Representatives on February 11 would allow for working caregivers to …

— Jersey City and Newark are the first two cities in the state to pass laws requiring businesses with 10 or more employees to let workers earn up to five paid sick days a year to care for themselves or ailing family members. AARP New Jersey, which pushed for the municipal ordinances, hopes to take the policy statewide. “Sick leave is critical not only for working parents with young children, but for workers caring for grandchildren or aging parents,” said Marilyn …