Ai-jen Poo a Next Avenue 2015 Influencer In Aging

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CARING ACROSS GENERATIONS CO-DIRECTOR
AI-JEN POO NAMED ‘2015 INFLUENCER IN AGING’ BY NEXT AVENUE

Author and activist Ai-jen Poo has been named one of Next Avenue’s 2015 Influencers in Aging. The list recognizes distinguished leaders in the field of aging, who work to change both how we age and how we perceive aging in American culture. Ms. Poo is also a MacArthur Fellow and Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

As outlined in her recent bestseller The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America, Ms. Poo’s advocacy work with Caring Across Generations addresses both the growing need for care and the working conditions for the people that provide it:

  • By 2050, the total number of people needing long-term care and personal assistance is projected to double to 27 million.
  • The country’s 3 million professional home caregivers often work long hours for low pay and few benefits, at the expense of caring for their own families.
  • More than 80 percent of home care is provided by family caregivers without formal training, and many are squeezed between caring for their own children and aging parents.

The nation’s caregiving workforce — both professional and family caregivers — needs more support.

Ms. Poo’s work centers on developing a national movement of families, professional caregivers, people with disabilities, and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country. She has been instrumental in persuading the U.S. Labor Department to extend wage and overtime protections to home care workers. Now through the Caring Across Generations campaign, she is bringing together communities reflecting the full diversity of the nearly 100 million Americans who are directly impacted by the need for long-term care — including people living in multigenerational households, family caregivers, professional caregivers, seniors and people with disabilities — to increase every family’s access to quality, affordable care while creating millions of quality home care jobs in the process.

“We approach aging and dying in this country from a place of scarcity and fear, which is reflected in how we care for one another, too. But if we can see the opportunity around living longer, we can figure out the caregiving infrastructure to make that possible — and realize it’s within reach,” said Poo. “I’d like to see a system that supports family and professional caregivers so our elders and all who care for them can live well, with dignity. It’s time to bring caregiving into the 21st century, rooted in people’s homes and communities.”

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About Caring Across Generations
Caring Across Generations is a national movement of families, caregivers, people with disabilities and aging Americans working to transform the way we care in this country. By harnessing the power of online action, grassroots organizing and innovative culture change work, we are shifting how our nation values caregiving and calling for policy solutions that enable all of us to live and age with dignity and independence. For more information, please visit caringacross.org.