“We cared for my father-in-law for about 2-3 years - the one year in particular while he was in a nursing home with Parkinson's dementia. Hilary went every morning before work and every evening after work. We both went on weekends, and Hilary spent most of the weekend there as well. Even before the nursing home, when he started to need a lot more help, we were the primary family support.
Those years caused an incredible strain on our lives and on our relationship. Essentially, all Hilary could was work and take care of her dad. If we had each been able to take paid family leave for some part of that time it would have made a world of difference for us. We might have kept him home and out of the nursing home for at least some period of time, and that would have made a difference too. Having to put him in a nursing home, because we had to keep working and couldn't supervise and manage the kind of care he needed at home, was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced.
In particular, since we were also helping to pay for his care, there was no way either of us could take a chunk of time from work unpaid.
Taking care of an aging parent is so stressful and difficult. It can be a financial strain as well. Paid Family Leave would have made a difference for us – and my father-in-law.”
-Holli Levinson, JUFJ Montgomery County Community Organizer