10 CAREGIVER REASONS FOR A BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE (B.I.G.)
1) YOUR LOVED ONE BECOMES SICK OR DISABLED AND NEEDS FULL-TIME CARE. You now have to care for them, take them to all the doctor appointments, be there when they go in and out of the hospital, learn nursing skills to do at home because the insurance won't pay for at-home care, inpatient care, or respite care. During this time, you either take a sick leave from work or you quit your job. Caregiving is now your full-time job whether it pays or not. The B.I.G. for the caregiver means you can sort our your new life situation, learn your new tasks to help your loved one, and figure out your options.
2) YOUR LOVED ONE IS THE BREADWINNER AND GETS SICK OR DISABLED. Both you and your loved one need a Basic Income Guarantee because otherwise the chances of being homeless or in deep poverty are very high and added on top of all the caregiving duties and issues. The B.I.G. for the caregiver and the loved one takes the financial terror out of the equation of illness or disability.
3) THE DISABILITY BENEFIT INCOME IS TIED TO THE LOVED ONE AND THE SITUATION GOES INTO TRANSITION. You are the caregiver, but the income is going to the sick or disabled person and either they pass on or get put into full-time nursing home care. Now you have no income for yourself and are deficited professionally for the time you took to be a caregiver and maybe your skills are too stale to get work other than caregiving. The B.I.G. means that there is some kind of income that is not tied to job expectations of continuous employment which is discrimanatory against women and caregivers.
4) THE CAREGIVER BECOMES A CASUALTY OF THE CONDITION OF THE LOVED ONE. A type of PTSD that happens when you go through the shocks, stress and physical injury and stresses from the rigorous job of caregiving is called Caregiver Stress Syndrome. Many times an illness or disability ultimately creates two patients in need of care instead of just the one. A B.I.G. means more income to be able to pay for respite care and other services that would keep the caregiver from being crushed by the heavy load of stress caregiving is today.
5) THE LOVED ONE RECOVERS, BUT NOT FULLY, OR THE CONDITION RETURNS. You want to make room for the recovery as the caregiver, but you are always "on call" in your life for when or if the loved one's condition worsens or comes back and requires help again. The B.I.G. means you can "be there" in the ups and downs of the illness or disability and not worry about being financially deficited.
6) THE CAREGIVER IS A PART-TIME OR INTERMITTENT CAREGIVER. You are a part time caregiver. The loved one only needs part-time help but part-time free caregiving and part-time work is not a sustainable situation for employment and a liveable income. The B.I.G. means you have a sustainable income whether or not you want to be part-time or full-time helping your loved one.
7) THE CAREGIVER IS A FEMALE. You are a female in your family. Seventy-percent of the time, females in families are expected to be the caregivers of children, sick/disabled family members, a sick/disabled spouses and sick/disabled parents. That makes it very difficult to keep sustainable work going or a career. Work traditionally done by the female for the family is still unpaid and not counted in economic statistics in many countries, though that work is vital to society and is even recognized by the medical profession as vital to patient support and recovery. With a B.I.G. in place, all human work is honored as contributing to society and to the family unit whether or not done by a female or male.
8) THE CAREGIVER IS THE SPOUSE OF THE LOVED ONE. You are the spouse of a disabled person. Spouses cannot apply for Medicaid Personal Care for being a full-time caregiver for their sick or disabled spouse. Disability might be tied to the disabled or sick spouse, leaving the other spouse at the mercy of the condition and situation that creates stress, resentment or the potential for abuse or neglect. The B.I.G. supports the family in times of illness and disability which should be a recognized family value that should be respected by our society.
9) THE CAREGIVER WISHES TO STOP DOING DIRECT CARE FOR THE LOVED ONE. You want to quit caring for that person for very human reasons, often due to the consequences of the stress of the job. Sometimes the stress and personality issues are such that you would like to stop doing direct care, but you might be working only part-time, or not at all, and cannot get a job or find housing. Both you and your loved one might really benefit from separating households for very human reasons but cannot because of the financial situation these days. The B.I.G. gives families flexibility in deciding what is the best care plan for the ill or disabled person, giving some dignity of choice for all parties concerned.
10) YOUR LOVED ONE DIES. You not only have to deal with the pain of the loss but also your caregiving status has left you unable to find new work or you have to lose your house and sustain other losses to downsize to a new situation. Or many caregivers face the spectre of homelessness. The B.I.G. concept supports those seasons of life where there is acute grief and a need for spiritual renewal and a time to sensibly transition into the next sustainable life situation.