Our State Needs Paid Family and Medical Leave

Sunday, February 12th 2017
Independent Record

It’s difficult when a parent becomes so sick that he/she can’t be left alone. I moved my father to Helena in 2003 and became his daily advocate while working full time. I did that for seven years.

After retirement, I was fortunate enough to have another five years with Dad before he died.

I was blessed to have sick and annual leave to take Dad to nearly every appointment. I was getting older myself and my leave had to stretch a very long way. It was a tough road being daughter/advocate/caregiver and the employee that I wanted to be. A simple medical appointment could take hours because of Dad’s illnesses and needs.

Parents spend much of their respective lives and resources caring for and raising children. It seems unfair that children often can’t return the favor when parents need us.

Montana is “graying” as a state. And, Americans are living longer. More of us are or will be taking care of older family members.

Our state needs paid family and medical leave to care for our loved ones and ourselves. I pray that the 65th Montana Legislature will support families by passing HB 392.

Fran Viereck


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