Home-care workers – the fastest growing, lowest paid workforce in our country – are central to the future of our economy, and we can no longer afford to ignore their needs. These workers are on the front lines of caring for our country’s rapidly aging population, yet they’re often paid poverty-level wages and have few rights on the jobs. The question of how to provide adequate care for our parents and grandparents poses an incredible challenge for millions of families. That‘s why Jobs With Justice and the National Domestic Workers Alliance launched the Caring Across Generations campaign, and it’s the main issue Caring Across’ co-director Ai-jen Poo tackles in her new book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.
The Age of Dignity was written to inspire change in the way we care for one another in America. At the intersection of our aging population, the fraying safety net, and opportunities for women and immigrants in the workforce, the book weaves personal stories into solutions to address America’s new demographic and economic realities, particularly the growing need for caregivers.
Our own Sarita Gupta understands all too well the tremendous value care workers play in our society and the struggle so many family caregivers go through to care for their loved ones. Her own father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago, and her mother has become his primary caregiver – caring for him as well as their household. As Sarita wrote in a recent article in The American Prospect, “In the near future, we, like millions of other families across the nation, will need the help of home-care workers to allow the members of the family to continue working full-time while ensuring people like my father can age in the way that most of us want – with dignity and independence, at home and in our own communities.”
Sarita will be sharing her story in various cities as part of the Age of Dignity and the Caring Across America Book Tour. We hope you will join us during this tour when it comes to a city near you!