Caring Across Generations, a coalition that began supporting home care workers, has expanded its focus and launched a national campaign to put issues related to caring for older and disabled persons on national and state public policy agendas. Caring Across Generations was formed in 2011 by activists with the Domestic Workers Alliance and Jobs with Justice. The coalition has 200 national organizations as members and 17 field partners along with 150,000 on its online supporters. The organization is led by Ai-Jenn Poo who is on a national tour promoting her book The Age of Dignity which describes the issues related to the growing number of older persons and offers a platform for action. She says in her book that there is “a caregiver majority” in this country that needs to identify itself, build its power and promote policies that respect the dignity of older persons. She says that a culture change is needed to shift how the country views caregiving.
The coalition held a national conference call on Tuesday night and also stressed that the campaign seeks to bridge the potential polarization in society of a growing older white population and a growing younger population of many races and ethnicities. On the call, staffpersons said the coalition’s goals are
– to create a better long term care system
– to develop a new approach to caregiving that respects workers and adds more caregiving jobs
– to promote policies that allow every person to have a choice of how they will age well
The New York StateWide Senior Action Council have been supportive of these goals and is exploring an alliance with the Caring Across Generations. This blog and website were formed also in alliance with the national coalition. Here in New York, we will be working in the coming months to bring together the labor and worker activists in the caregiver field with senior activists and those in the aging network who support informal caregiving by families and friends. The campaign to enact paid family leave in New York State is currently becoming part of the effort to promote this key issue to support patients, families and caregivers and is providing an avenue to build the power of the caregiver majority.
The next national conference call will be at 8:00 p.m. on June 9th. You can contact the national field director Lisa Adler at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about that call. To read more about the coalition go to caringacrossgenerations.org