Our national partners Caring Across Generations is promoting a new book about the future of long-term care – both the services to pay for it so our fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers live in dignity, and the workers that care that care for them are paid a decent wage. The book is called “The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America.”
Home care workers — the fastest-growing, lowest-paid workforce in our country — are the future of our economy, and we can no longer afford to ignore their needs.
That’s the message of visionary labor organizer and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Ai-jen Poo’s new book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. In it, she writes of how the rapid aging of America is an opportunity to turn home care jobs into quality jobs — and transform our economy and our society in the process.
Though they provide an invaluable service, the average wage for homecare workers in the United States is less than $20,000 year. This vital workforce cares for our loved ones, but too many home care workers don’t make enough to provide for their own families.
How will we ensure that we create quality care jobs? How will we ensure that homecare workers get the training, wages, and support they need to provide for their families?
In The Age of Dignity, Ai-jen answers these questions, and outlines a compelling plan to transform the nature of care work in the United States — and by extension, our economy. As she writes, “Turning caregiving jobs into dignified jobs will have a ripple effect on society, on the economy, and on our spiritual health. By doing so, we affirm the dignity of people at every stage of life, into old age, and in every walk of life.”Weaving together stories from Ai-jen’s own life with the stories of the workers on the front lines of the movement to transform care in America, The Age of Dignity is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of work and the 21st century labor movement we need to transform our economy and our society.
I’m always inspired by Ai-jen’s vision, and I hope you can join me in reading her important new book, The Age of Dignity.
Join National Jobs with Justice, Caring Across Generations, and Ai-jen Poo on Tuesday, February 3, for a tweet chat about the book and the future of long-term care. Follow the hashtag #AgeOfDignity.