Many people in New Jersey find themselves having to care for their aging parents, even if they are still working themselves. It can be difficult to find a work-life balance when you are a caregiver. However, there are legal options that may help people care for aging loved ones, even if they have not yet left the workforce.
First, there is the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. This act permits a worker to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year to care for an immediate family member who is suffering from a serious health condition, while still retaining their job and health insurance. Moreover, New Jersey, along with several other states, offer paid family leave as well. However, it is important to note that not all employers are subject to the FMLA, and employees wishing to take leave under FMLA must meet certain eligibility requirements.
In addition, some employers offer onsite elder-care consultants to help workers caring for aging loved ones. Some employers may also reimburse workers who must take time off in emergency situations when it isn’t possible for them to obtain a home health aide for their aging loved one. Sometimes, simply discussing the situation with one’s supervisor can help employees when they need to take a leave of absence.
FMLA is an important law for those who find they need to take time off work to care for their aging parents. However, workers may have other options through their employers as well. Long-term care planning can include having an adult child care for an aging loved one, but it is important that these caregivers are given the support they need in the workplace, so they can take time off without having to fear they will lose their job.