Impact Report: Unpaid Care Work

In October of 2017, the Utah Women and Leadership Project along with the YWCA of Utah brought a group of experts together to identify current resources/strengths, challenges, and potential interventions that would help Utah caregivers.  What follows are their recommendations organized by category. See the comprehensive list here

Financial Incentives and Support

  • Explore elder care costs as eligible for flex plans, without requiring that the person be a legal dependent.
  • Explore a similar tax credit to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for elder care, again without requiring legal dependence.
  • Eliminate taxes on social security benefits.
  • Extend retirement income tax credit for next generation of retirees (current AARP policy priority). This is a highly needed source of tax relief.
  • When hospitals discharge and provide information to the designated caregiver around what the patient needs, also provide caregiver support resources. Same with pediatricians providing information and resources to parents.
  • Explore incentives to support “agingin-place” initiatives that incorporate quality home-based care services. 
  • Continue to explore potential flexibilities in state interpretation of federal Medicaid regulations that might benefit caregivers by benefiting the elders and others they care for.

Technology Infrastructure

  • Ensure that telehealth parity becomes the standard for all insurers.
  • Develop interventions to train and support caregivers through apps, social media, and other online sources.

Creation of Economic Opportunity

  • Need to value care across the board.
  • Expand respite provision – there are economic/business opportunities in this area.
  • Explore options for the family member who is providing care to receive payment.
  • Ensure quality and safety standards for adult daycare and other caregiving services.

Capacity Building

  • Develop online caregiving classes and support groups. All interventions being developed are through apps, social media, online.
  • Need resources for men to understand the importance of caregiving.
  • Advocacy and shaping attitudes.
  • Need to increase public awareness about these issues. Reframe caregiving as valuable for the whole family (and therefore valuable for their communities), not a gendered role/issue.
  • Need resources for men to both understand the importance of caregiving, as well as increase the social acceptance of men providing care.
  • Focus on workplace culture and attitudes that support taking paid leave and other caregiving options when they are available.
  • Use social media – perhaps an “I share” campaign around men’s involvement in caregiving and household work. Need to help Utah “catch up” with some of the national trends on men and women sharing caregiving and other household work.
  • Touch points for increasing public awareness – schools, pediatricians, senior centers, and faith communities.

Laws, Policies, and Regulations

  • Pursue work-family leave policies that provide flexibility for caregivers who want/need to keep their job.
  • Explore businesses/companies that are being innovative and creating policies/practices to support caregivers. Encourage more strategic thinking around these issues in workplaces.
  • Create economic/tax incentives for innovative businesses.

Research and Data

  • Researchers partner with organizations to help pilot interventions and make their programs more effective. They need to show outcomes and evidence, so scholars and practitioners need to come together.

To learn more about Women and Finance in Utah read the entire impact report.

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