One of AARP’s experts, Laurie McCann, testified this week before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forum on age discrimination, and, as usual, Laurie deftly told it like it is. And how it should be.
The AARP Foundation senior attorney was speaking before the EEOC’s important forum on the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) — a forum titled “The ADEA @50 — More Relevant Than Ever.” Four other workforce experts — one speaking remotely from a vacation in Tokyo — were also panelists.
McCann, who continues to build a following, including among national media outlets, as a leader in the fight against age discrimination, praised the EEOC in her testimony for, among other things, its work on two recent cases (Texas Roadhouse and Darden) and for filing an age discrimination case against a third employer (Ruby Tuesday).
But in her forum comments and her more extensive written testimony, she said that “AARP urges the EEOC to take bolder action to ensure older workers are treated fairly at work.”
Among other things, McCann said the EEOC should “strengthen regulations” aimed at preventing age-related inquiries on job postings. She noted that “practices like maximum experience requirements and requirements for applicants to be affiliated with a university are age-related,” for example.
The AARP Foundation attorney also called for “more robust enforcement of the ADEA,” noting that though 23 percent of all charges filed by the public with the EEOC last year involved age discrimination, ADEA-related cases constituted only 2 percent of the cases that actually wound up on the EEOC docket.
McCann also pointed out that AARP’s CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, “has made it AARP’s mission to disrupt aging and change what it means to age in America.”
EEOC Commissioner Jenny Yang, in her closing remarks at the forum, noted that hundreds of employers have signed an AARP pledge to not discriminate against older workers, and said she applauds the employers for taking that step.
Last week, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and U.S. Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act (S. 1151/H.R. 2505) and AARP endorsed the legislation. The bill would help support America’s family caregivers by offering a federal tax credit for those who qualify.
“One of the biggest stresses of being a family caregiver is the financial strain from taking care of a loved one. As a result, this puts many of us into financial peril,” said Amy Goyer, AARP’s Family and Caregiving Expert and a family caregiver, herself.
Like many family caregivers, Amy takes on huge responsibilities that can be overwhelming, exhausting — and frequently financially challenging.
Much of Amy’s salary goes to caring for her 93-year-old dad with lives with Alzheimer’s. She takes care of everything from mortgage payments to medications. In addition to their basic needs, Amy is also responsible for keeping her father’s service dog Jackson healthy, sometimes she pays a person to keep their home clean and she even hires in-home care to help her father when she travels.
Last year, family caregivers spent roughly $7,000 on average – or nearly 20 percent of their income — on out-of-pocket costs providing care for their loved ones. And on average, long-distance family caregivers spend nearly $12,000 last year to care for their loved ones.
On top of the out-of-pocket costs associated with caregiving, some family caregivers work part-time or quit their jobs altogether to care for their loved ones. Family caregivers are also dipping into their personal savings, cutting back on their personal spending, and saving less for their own retirement to care for others.
Amy thinks, “the Credit for Caring Act could help provide some financial relief to reduce the caregiving costs for millions of eligible family caregivers across the country who work.”
To qualify for the Credit for Caring Act, taxpayers must be: an eligible family caregiver who pays or incurs qualified expenses for providing care to a spouse, child, parent or other qualified individual with long-term care needs and also earn an annual income of more than $7,500.
For more information on AARP’s advocacy to support family caregivers, visit www.aarp.org/supportcaregivers.
It’s never too late to make an impact on someone’s life and with the AARP Purpose Prize millions of people, over 50, are doing just that. To date, more than 100 Purpose Prize winners have been recognized for their outstanding contributions and the positive, social impact of their work.
The Purpose Prize was created by Encore.org in 2005 as a vehicle to celebrate exceptional individuals over 50, who have utilized their wealth of life experience to encourage continued and innovative social good in their communities.
“The AARP Purpose Prize is all about a new story of aging — focusing on experience and innovation and the idea that our aging population is an untapped resource full of possibilities,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins.
We’ve been receiving nominations and applications from great people, doing excellent work, across a broad from all over the country. Reviewing their work has been inspiring and a little humbling, as well.
The people nominated don’t merely muse about making a positive change – they’re actually doing it. All of the prize contenders are helping to redefine what it means to be in their “second act” by using their experiences – up until this point – to bring positive change to their community.
Over the next couple of months, the AARP Purpose Prize jurors will winnow down the field to just five winners, each of whom will be awarded $50,000 by AARP and one winner will also receive the Andrus Prize for Intergenerational Excellence named for AARP’s founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus.
Follow along on the Purpose Prize website to learn more about the program and how you can get involved, next year!
In a statement today following the release of the White House proposed budget, AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond opposed cuts that would harm American families:
“AARP opposes the budget proposed today because it explicitly harms the very people we are counting on the President to protect. Today’s budget proposes to cut Social Security benefits, as well as funding for critical health, hunger, housing, and transportation assistance to low and middle income seniors. This budget sends a powerful message to older Americans and their families that their health and financial security is at risk.”
“We do want to acknowledge the Administration’s paid leave proposal. Although it must be improved so that it addresses the workplace needs of all family caregivers, we hope that it leads to a national conversation about ways to support family caregivers in the workplace.”
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. To learn more, visit AARP online.
It’s clear that a majority of people want to remain independent as they age and now technology can help them do so. As a Northern Virginia resident and an employee of AARP, I was drawn to a recent local event titled “Can Technology Help Older Arlingtonians Age Independently?”
The event was the fourth installment of Arlington County’s Digital Destiny campaign which seeks to explore the impact of the Digital Revolution on defined aspects of life for the county and its residents.
This session featured Arlington county employees, local residents and aging experts discussing tech trends likely to have the greatest impact on older Americans.
- Amy Doherty, Chief Information Officer and AARP
- Brittany Weinberg, Director of Community Engagement,Aging2.0
Doherty discussed three emerging trends and how they can apply to aging independently:
- Leveraging virtual reality to make the aging experience real to people of all ages.
- Investigating ways that robotics can aid in caregiving and social isolation.
- How artificial intelligence could strengthen programs like the Fraud Watch Network that provide citizens with information on how to avoid scams.
Brittany Weinberg, the Director of Community Engagement, Aging2.0. explained how people-centered-design, including voice recognition and gesture controls, is improving the technology experience for people of a variety of ages and is helping to solve issues related to caregiving and social isolation. She also noted that the prevalence of sensors within the home helps enable people to age independently and live in their homes for as long as possible.
After each speaker presented, the audience was charged to brainstorm ways they thought technology could make their lives easier.
The ideas presented included:
- Programs that enable schools to give back to the 50+ community by allowing children to tutor older adults
- Programs like Cyber Seniors and AARP TEK were mentioned as existing resources to help educate adults about technology.
- Libraries were mentioned as good resources and as go-to sites for downloading digital books, taking classes and accessing educational videos via Lynda.
- The group also encouraged tech companies to design for all ages and accessibility
A couple of weeks back, we unveiled our new caregiving ad – starring a unique caregiver. You may recognize him as the antihero from Machete or Breaking Bad, but you would never assume he’s just like you. That’s right, actor Danny Trejo is a caregiver and he is showing just how tough male caregivers are.
Although the typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman, there is a silent army of husbands, brothers, sons and friends – about 16 million– caring for their spouses, parents and other loved ones.
As family sizes shrink and the population ages, the number of male caregivers is only expected to rise, but they are often ignored in the caregiving conversation.
AARP, in conjunction with, the Ad Council is spotlighting this overlooked group through its new PSA campaign. The ad features Trejo performing the tough guy feats he is known for in films, alongside the everyday tough jobs a typical caregiver performs.
AARP’s new data profile on male caregivers shares insights on the level and type of care men provide, the challenges they face and more. Some of the key findings include:
- More than half of male caregivers (63%) are the primary caregiver for their loved one.
- Male family caregivers are helping their loved ones with personal care activities and more than half (54%) of male family caregivers perform medical and nursing tasks, such as injections, tube feedings, and wound care.
- Many men say they feel unprepared for these tasks and express discomfort providing intimate personal care (e.g. bathing, dressing, toileting).
- Men are less likely than women to reach out for help and feel uncomfortable discussing the emotional challenges of caregiving.
- More than one-third (37%) of male caregivers don’t tell their employers that they are juggling caregiving responsibilities at home.
In addition, AARP sharing stories of men rising to the challenge and offering their lesson’s learned with others.
Caregivers can find helpful tools, like the Prepare to Care guides and more at aarp.org/caregiving.