Employee Benefits for Caregivers

elderly mom with sonUntil you’ve actually experienced elder care, you can have a hard time understanding the type of time commitment (both physically and emotionally) that it involves. As a result of that, as well as the overall aging of the U.S. population, more organizations are now looking to offer benefits and packages that can help their employees in an elder-care situation.

As The Washington Post explains:

“We’re starting to see pockets of innovation,” said Drew Holzapfel, who heads React, Respect a Caregiver’s Time, a network of more than 75 firms, academic institutions and nonprofit groups seeking to change workplace culture so that people can better manage work and elder care.

According to the Families and Work Institute’s 2014 National Study of Employers, the share of organizations who offered information and flexible time situations to their employees around the topic of elder care was at about 31 percent in 2008. In 2014, it’s up to 43 percent.

Perhaps more promisingly, the share of companies allowing workers to pay for elder care with pre-tax dollars (which is often the model for child care) was around 20 percent in 2008. Now it’s 41 percent – it’s nearly doubled.

The flip side – and problem – is that only 7 percent of organizations are offering short-term respite to allow working caregivers with breaks.

That’s a problem because about 65 percent of those who care for elders are working, and as many as 40 percent of people in those situations say they work in inflexible environments and have been forced to take less hours or outright quit.

Then, there’s this:

MetLife estimates that failing to support workers with elder-care responsibilities can cost as much as $34 billion a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, disengagement, turnover and increased health-care costs. 

Elder care will continue to be a major issue as the population ages – what do you think companies should be doing? What examples have you seen in terms of offering financial help or general flexibility?

Thanks for visiting Advocare. We provide Medical Care Management, Home Care Management, Transition Care Management and Life Care Planning throughout the South Florida areas of North Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Palm Beach Island and more. 

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