Ai-Jen Poo is an award-winning activist and a leading advocate for domestic workers’ rights. We discuss the elder boom, the increasing importance of domestic work in our society, and how we can engage to demand a new Caring infrastructure.
The Care Crisis is Here
Baby boomers are aging at a rate of 10,000 people per day. This means that 4 million turn 65 every year. The 85 and older demographic is the fastest growing demographic in the country. The demand for care workers is exploding, but we have no program in place to support these people to be able to afford elder care.
Home Care is the Future
Elders want to age at home. It is cheaper and has better outcomes. Good care giving is the best prevention, which avoids unnecessary and expensive end-of-life hospitalization or institutionalization. We need a Care infrastructure that provides high quality care for families and creates professional jobs for care workers with benefits and a living wage.
Demand a Solution
Track and follow Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Create demand by supporting political candidates who are champions for a care agenda. States can be a laboratory for federal policy. Hawaii passed a family caregiver benefit program in 2017. Maine has a ballot initiative called “Home Care for All” in November.
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Ai-Jen Poo is the Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and the Co-Director of Caring Across Generations.