The Duality of Employers and Their Employees Providing Eldercare!

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

We do indeed ‘live in interesting times’! Increasing numbers of older adults are involved in caregiving and financial support of their parents their spouses, their older children and their grandchildren. Many older adults today find that they need to continue to work in order to help family members financially, while others need flexibility in their work schedules to meet caregiving demands.

The preceding five blog post series addressed ‘best practices’ employers should consider regarding ‘eldercare and the workplace’. They were presented for employer awareness and for employer action planning based on precedent and good management practice. So why is this so important to employers.

iStock_YinYangDemographic trends indicate a greater number of employees of all ages will assume the role of family caregiver with an increasingly older population.  This trend will no doubt impact employee caregivers ages 18 to 39, as much as those ages 50 and older.  These caregivers will be affected in many ways including their physical and mental well-being as well as their health care costs.

In fact, a January 2010 MetLife survey – Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs – shows an eight percent differential in health care costs for caregiving employees, conservatively estimated to cost US employers $13.4 billion per year.  Beyond medical costs, another cost to employers is absenteeism and work productivity, estimated to cost US businesses $33.6 billion per year. [1]

Consider New Hampshire. Thirteen percent (170,000) of New Hampshire’s population is age 65+, with 24,480 residents age 85+. New Hampshire’s 85+[2]  population – the age group that is most likely to need caregiving services – will nearly double from 2007 to 2030.[3] With such an aging population, the percentage of family caregivers in the workplace will only rise over time.  All stakeholders need to recognize that supporting working caregivers can improve their health and productivity, not just in their personal lives but in their corporate lives as well.

Caring Concierge provides employers with a comprehensive solution set to manage their risk relative to this specific eldercare related employee productivity loss. As you can bet, we stay pretty busy helping the duality that is our employer clients and their respective employees who must also provide eldercare to their loved ones while performing with excellence in the workplace.

REFERENCE:

[1] The Metlife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs, January 2010.  http://www.metlife.com/assets/cao/mmi/publications/studies/2010/mmi-working-caregivers-employers-health-care-costs.pdf

[2] U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division.  Estimates of the Resident Population by Selected Age Groups for the United States and Puerto Rico: July 1, 2008.  Released May 14, 2009.  URL:  http://www.census.gov/popest/states/asrh/SC-EST2008-01.html

[3] Gibson, Mary Jo, Fox-Grage, Wendy, Houser, Ari.  Across the States 2009:  Profiles of Long-Term Care and Independent Living:  Executive Summary, State Data, and Rankings.  Page 34.  AARP Public Policy Institute.  Washington, D.C.  URL:  http://www.aarp.org/research/ppi/ltc/Other/articles/across_the_states_2009__profiles_of_long-term_care_and_independent_living.html

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: