Caring for an Elderly Parent

The costs for elder care are increasing as the number of aging adults requiring in-home care continues to rise. Many times, it’s a family member who winds up providing in-home care. In some instances, this care is the result of a fall or accident involving the parent.

According to the United States Department of Labor, approximately 25 million workers provide informal care for an elderly family member who needs help with basic personal needs and daily activities. This number will likely grow as the post-World War II baby boomers – all 76 million of them – continue to age. Getting together time off from work is a real challenge for many family caregivers. Some don’t have sufficient leave or the ability to take it when they need it. Others are concerned about the risk of losing their jobs if they take time off to deal with these common caregiving demands. However, there may be assistance to enable them to take off time for work and not place their employment at risk.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”) is federal legislation that permits an employee to take an unpaid leave of absence of up to 12 weeks without jeopardizing their position with their employer. When many Americans think of the FMLA, they picture maternity or paternity leave — new moms and dads caring for babies. However, your leave may also be used for the time needed to care for an elderly parent.

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles. An employee must provide the employer at least 30 days advance notice before FMLA leave is to begin if the need for the leave is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment for the spouse or parent’s serious health condition. If 30 days notice is not practicable, such as when emergency care is needed, notice must be given “as soon as practicable”.

Knowing your FMLA rights can mean the difference between being there to help your aging parents or regretting that your job kept you from helping them when they needed you most.
For more information about the FMLA, go to

For more than 30 years, Attorney Lee A. Drizin has practiced in the areas of estate planning, probate, trusts, guardianship and real estate matters representing clients throughout the state of Nevada.

Drizin Law is providing this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. This information is based on general principles of Nevada law at the time it was created and you should be aware laws frequently change. Moreover, the laws affecting you may differ depending on the circumstances. You should consult with a qualified attorney in your own state or jurisdiction concerning your particular situation. Review of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.