We are approaching National Caregiver Month. November has been set aside to celebrate caregivers, here, there, and everywhere. There are over 53 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends, and neighbors. I was on the unpaid caregiver side. While on the other side, I have a real passion for paid caregivers because their contributions are undervalued as it relates to wages, in my opinion. The purpose of celebrating caregivers is to provide responsiveness of caregiver concerns, educate caregivers(formal and Informal) about self-discovery, and magnify support that will decrease stress and burnout in the caregiver roles. The overarching theme, however, is that we Value All Caregivers!
It is no secret that caregivers are my #1 Fans! Their unselfishness and dedication are not based on monetary gain. Let me say that again! Their unselfishness and commitment are not based on monetary gain. We know that informal or formal caregiver compensation has a lot to be desired. Every time I research the compensation for formal caregivers, it saddens me to no end. What is a ‘reasonable rate’ for providing care? For informal caregivers, what is fair compensation for the family member who performs the essential duties? Informal caregivers caring for loved ones require informational guides for getting support from organizations and the community. For formal caregivers, most of the compensation is based on market rates. The over-arching question becomes, is the compensation scale based on a living wage or a subsistence wage?
Two Thoughts on Compensation Wages
A living wage is defined as the minimum income necessary to meet basic needs. The goal of a living wage is to allow a worker to afford a basic but decent standard of living through employment without government subsidies.
The survival wage refers to minimum biological needs. Needs like food, housing, and clothing. Typically personal transportation is not on the list. Some form of public transportation is used because car notes and car insurance is expensive.
As we approach the month to recognize caregivers, do something special for them if you know one. They work hard, and the current pay scale will never reflect their hard work and dedication. While we continue to fight for wage increases across the globe, I would love to hear your comments on how one prioritizes life and living on a $7.25 minimum wage.
As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, know that caring for a loved one or care recipient is a labor of love. Compassion is never about the money. But for sure, a living wage and compensation for informal caregivers would be wonderful. Most in society want to support themselves and their families with a few extras occasionally. Sometimes the extras are far and between. That is where we come in. May I ask you to love on a caregiver next month…please and thank you. Be safe! Be well!
To interesting websites to explore: