CAFOs Operating Under Expired Permits, Jobs Not Enough To Escape Poverty, Caregiver Crisis Looming

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A new study of the Wisconsin workforce shows that for many families, jobs with benefits are not enough to thrive. We discuss what was found and what’s needed for people with jobs to stay above the poverty line. By the year 2030, over 8 million women are expected to be living with dementia, and finding enough caregivers for them will be a challenge. The author of a new report on the topic is with us to discuss the looming crisis. Plus, data from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources show about a third of the state’s CAFOs are operating under expired permits. We find out why that is and what’s being done to renew these permits.

Featured in this Show

  • About One-Third Of Wisconsin's CAFOs Are Operating Under Expired Permits

    Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources data show that about a third of the state’s large-scale animal farms are operating under expired permits. These large farms are known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. We talk to a reporter about these expired permits and what’s being done to renew them.

  • Study Finds Jobs Not Enough for Wisconsin Families to Thrive

    We learn about a recent report showing the disconnect between state policies and the realities of Wisconsin families working in jobs at or near the poverty line.

  • Study On Caregiver Support Shows Looming Crisis For Women

    By 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older, and the number of elderly Americans living with dementia is expected to go up to 8.5 million. We talk to one of the authors of a new report on the future of caregivers, what the authors call “a looming crisis for women.”

  • Increased Need For Eldercare In Future Will Mostly Be Met By Women, Expert Says

    The U.S. has an aging population, and as the population ages, so will cases of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. The percentage of the U.S. population over age 65 is projected to increase to one-in-five Americans by the year 2030, and the number of cases of dementia is expected to rise to 8.4 million people by the same year, according to a new study.

    There will be an enormous need for caregivers as a result of those demographic changes, and the people most likely to bear the brunt of that need are women, said Nick Bott, a neuropsychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

    Bott co-authored the recent study, which looked at gender disparities in eldercare.

    Most caregiving comes from family members, and women often do the majority of it, Bott said. But why?

    Currently, two-thirds of all caregivers are women, and that’s due in part to entrenched cultural attitudes, Bott said.

    “There’s a remaining cultural expectation within within our country that caregiving is something that falls more on women by default,” he said.

    Those expectations haven’t changed in spite of the huge demographic shift in the past half-century or so towards women participating in the workforce at a rate nearly equal to that of men, Bott said.

    Bott said that there are changing demographics regarding parental leave and childcare, and the same should happen as the need for eldercare increases over the next decade.

    “We’re seeing a bump in men who are shouldering more of those (parental caregiving) responsibilities,” he said. “And I think it would be welcome to see a similar bump as those conversations are had for elder care giving.”

    If women continue to shoulder the burden for elder caregiving — what could that mean for women and employers?

    Women who take up a caregiving role may see decreased opportunities, salary loss, and experience “caregiver burden.”

    Caregiver burden is a name for the psychological and physical consequences of intense caregiving, such as higher stress, lower immune functioning and increases in loneliness and social isolation, Bott said.

    Employers with employees who are caregivers may see decreased productivity and increased absenteeism, he said.

    These issues could be mitigated if there was some protocol in place for employees to talk to employers about what they need when they’re taking on a caregiver role, and vice versa, Bott said.

    Often these conversations aren’t happening at all, leading employees to essentially perform their caregiving duties in secret, by leaving early and coming back to work later or leaving during lunch, for instance.

    And outside of the workplace, “we really need to become more comfortable having these conversations so it’s not necessarily a default or an unspoken decision that’s made.”

    Families need to come to a decision together that’s “reflective of the changing role of women in the workplace,” Bott said.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Karl Christenson Producer
  • Danielle Kaeding Guest
  • Laura Dresser Guest
  • Nick Bott Guest
  • Veronica Rueckert Interviewer

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