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LETTERS

There are solutions to struggles of working family caregivers

Isaura Beltre (right) helps her mother, Maria Asenjo, put on a compression glove. Asenjo was partially paralyzed following brain surgery, and her four adult children rotate caring for her every weekend and at night.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

State and federal tax-credit proposals would ease cost burden

I appreciated Katie Johnston’s detailed article “Duty and burden weigh heavily on family caregivers” (Page A1, April 10). A measure before the Legislature, An Act Establishing the Family Caregiver Tax Credit, would create a tax credit of 50 percent of the eligible expenses incurred by the taxpayer, with a maximum allowable yearly credit of $3,000. Examples of eligible expenditures include home modifications, purchase or lease of equipment, hiring a home health aide or personal care attendant, respite care, and assistive technology.

Another bill under consideration that would benefit family caregivers is the federal Credit for Caring Act of 2021, which would create a tax credit for working family caregivers. This would include a 30 percent tax credit, up to $5,000, for expenses incurred above $2,000 for many of the same expenditures as in the proposed Massachusetts legislation.

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These bills would enable family caregivers to work and help defray their costs. The measures also would allow more people to get the care they need at home and save taxpayer dollars by preventing expensive admission to a nursing home, hospital, or other extended-care facility.

Helen Zazulak

Natick


Employers that understand challenges and offer support make a huge difference

Why are so many working family caregivers punished for something beyond their control? There’s much truth in Katie Johnston’s article.

Employees can dedicate many years of service to an employer, offering stability and trust. However, many employees will see loved ones age and will step in as caregivers and then become torn between their careers and caregiving responsibilities. Instead of casting these employees aside, employers should be working with them.

Advertising for, interviewing, and training a new hire can take time, be costly, and be risky. Understanding employers, such as EMD Serono, a Boston-area biopharmaceutical company that, as Johnston notes, “has an employee resource group dedicated to caregivers,” are making a smarter choice.

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As a former co-caregiver, I worked part time. Doing so greatly affected my income, but I realized the futility in working and caregiving simultaneously and that helping my parents was my priority. Employers could also offer working family caregivers other options, including working from home, job-sharing, scheduling flexible working hours, and/or taking paid leave.

Rick Lauber

Edmonton, Alberta

The writer is the author of “The Successful Caregiver’s Guide.”