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CAG Holds Town Hall Meeting in D.C to Address Caregiving Jobs Crisis

May 24, 2012

(center) Sarita Gupta, CAG co-director

Caring Across Generations (CAG) hosted a national legislative town hall meeting in Washington D.C. on May 21 to discuss solutions to the looming long-term care crisis.

More than 200 people attended the event, which featured elders, people with disabilities, and direct-care workers sharing their personal stories that highlighted the need to address our nation’s long-term care issues.

“Every eight seconds another American turns 65 in this country,” said Ai-jen Poo, co-director of CAG. “The Baby Boom generation age wave is here, and we are not ready for it.

“But in this massive challenge, there is a huge opportunity for us as a country, to create at least two million good jobs to meet the growing need for in-home care. We will discuss how we are going to make this happen, and hear from those directly impacted at our national town hall,” she added.

Grassroots leaders from across the country were present to ask Congress to protect the public programs that are currently in place — particularly Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security — and to create programs that are needed to invest in care jobs and make care affordable for millions of Americans.

The legislative town hall meeting was a follow-up to a May 14 CAG briefing for Capitol Hill staff on the policy goals of the campaign.

“We need laws to regulate the home care industry to ensure that workers in home care have the same rights and worker protections as other workers,” said Myrla Baldonado, a caregiver to elders in the Chicago area for the last five years.

“Caring Across Generations is so important because it would strengthen and stabilize the industry by developing a pathway to citizenship and provide basic workplace protections like other workers have now,” says Nikki Brown-Booker, a Bay Area member leader of Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Association. “All of these things would ensure that I, and other persons with a disability and seniors, would receive the support and services that they need to be treated with respect and dignity.”

“It was an inspiring event to see hundreds of workers and consumers come together to unify around a comprehensive solution to the crisis, and to then take this message to their Senator’s offices,” said PHI Director of Government Affairs Carol Regan, who also spoke at the event.

— by the PHI Policy Team

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