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AARP AARP States Vermont

New AARP Research Shows Strong Need for Paid Family & Medical Leave in Vermont


The financial and emotional strain of unpaid family caregiving is pressing down hard on many Vermont residents, according to new research released today by AARP Vermont. The study finds that Vermont family caregivers often struggle to provide timely quality care to their loved ones without sacrificing their own health and financial security. The research also shows strong support for a paid family and medical leave program across political parties and income levels in Vermont.

In a survey of registered voters aged 40+ in Vermont, 37% of those responding said they either are currently a family caregiver or have been in the past, and the majority of those are caring for someone aged 65 or older. Furthermore, 74% report feeling stressed emotionally due to their caregiving responsibilities, while 34% report experiencing financial strain, as well. The majority of those polled across political parties (79%) support passing a paid family and medical leave program in Vermont.

“AARP Vermont is fighting to support Vermont’s 70,000 family caregivers,” says Greg Marchildon, state director of AARP Vermont, which serves more than 112,000 members aged 50 and older in Vermont. “We know that caring for a parent, spouse, or other loved ones can be expensive, stressful, and isolating. A strong paid family and medical leave program can support these families when they need it most.”

Family caregivers help their loved ones by providing transportation to appointments, preparing meals, helping with shopping and household chores, providing social activities or companionship and much more, making it possible for their loved ones to live independently at home – where they want to be. AARP Vermont’s poll shows that 66% of current or former family caregivers were working full- or part-time jobs while providing care, and for some, their caregiving responsibilities have them on call 24/7.

Among the financial expenses Vermont’s caregivers have incurred to help care for a loved one, AARP Vermont’s research shows 49% are paying for modifications to their or their loved one’s home and 40% are buying assistive technology such as a wheelchair, hearing devices and vision aids.

“Caregiving demands may lead to years of challenges for many Vermonters, including lost jobs, missed raises, and reduced Social Security benefits,” said Greg Marchildon, AARP Vermont State Director. “Without paid family and medical leave, caregivers can suffer financial setbacks, emotional hardships, and dire health consequences. AARP supports a paid family and medical leave program to keep workers on the job longer and help reduce reliance on high-cost nursing homes often paid for by taxpayers.”

AARP Vermont urges lawmakers to pass a strong paid family and medical leave program that would allow family caregivers to take limited time off from their paid jobs to care for their loved ones without fear of losing their paycheck.

AARP also provides free tools to help support family caregivers, such as the Caregiving Q&A Tool, which gives fast access to answers to questions many caregivers have about community resources, insurance and benefits, and other topics; and the Prepare to Care Planning Guide, which is designed to help develop and implement a caregiving plan for a loved one or friend.


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