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Idea of the Day: Supporting Caregivers Through Paid Family Leave

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We generally tend to think—and hope—that we are the exception to the rule. We believe that nothing bad will happen to us or our loved ones, that we will stay healthy and mobile until we pass away, quietly and many years down the road, with minimal strain or stress on our families. Unfortunately, life is rarely this simple or predictable. Instead, families across the country navigate countless and varied caregiving challenges every day.

All Americans need care at some point in their lives, and there are currently 41.6 million family caregivers across the United States, almost half of whom provide complex chronic care and perform medical tasks. The estimated economic contribution of unpaid family caregivers, approximately two-thirds of whom are women, was $450 billion in 2009, up $100 billion from 2006 and a number that is likely to grow as our population ages and lives longer. This issue brief will examine the breadth of caregiving challenges facing many different communities—from families with aging relatives, to people with disabilities, to individuals dealing with their own illnesses, and more. It will highlight the diverse needs of families and caregivers alike and explore what steps we can take—now and in the future—to find responsive solutions that work for everyone.

For more on this topic, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here