Torres-Gil on Plight of California’s Caregivers

Fernando Torres-Gil, director of UCLA Luskin’s Center for Policy Research on Aging and professor emeritus of social welfare and public policy, commented in a CalMatters article on low wages and lack of benefits and safe working conditions for California’s caregivers. Experts say the need for caregivers is only increasing in the state and across the country. “We don’t, as a society, value or honor persons that do caregiving,” Torres-Gil said, explaining that one reason the field is undervalued is that caregivers are predominantly immigrant women. In the coming decade, with nearly one-fifth of the population age 65 and older, California will face a shortage of more than 3 million caregivers, according to the California Department of Aging. Torres-Gil said that caregivers working in homes or nursing centers earn minimum, or near minimum, pay and lack benefits of regular 9-to-5 jobs, making long-term care as a career “a hard sell for young people.”

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