Employer support for
caregivers will benefit their companies.
Over 16% of people in the United States—40 million adults—are
providing informal care for family members.
As the elder population increases with demographic shift, and as life
expectancies grow, the number of caregivers will also increase, according to a recent
report from Northeast Business Group on Health, “The
Caregiving Landscape: Challenges and Opportunities for Employers.”
Many workers feel that caregiving is “just what you do,” may
not consider themselves caregivers, and do not vocalize their caregiving
activity due to worry that “such a disclosure could have a negative impact on their
Some interesting facts about caregivers:
- They come
from every walk of life representing a variety of age, social, and racial
- 60% are
women although more males are becoming caregivers;
comprise 25% of caregivers; and
spend $7,000 annually in related
out-of-pocket costs, financial instability may result.
Many employers may not yet have awareness of the impact
caregiving may have on their business.
Beyond one in six workers are caregivers, and this number will
Cost of caregiving to employers include absenteeism, lesser
productivity, higher healthcare costs—caregivers tend to be in poorer health
and add 8% to healthcare expenses, and additional recruiting and training costs
as caregivers have higher turnover rates.
In fact, such expenses equate to nearly a $38 billion loss
annually for employers.
The report indicates employers can support caregivers in
- 1.Helpful leave policies;
- 2.Providing direct support to caregivers; and
- 3.Direct access to helpful external services.
“The challenges employers face in providing effective
support to caregiving employees are not dissimilar to the challenges they face
in developing interventions to conditions such as obesity and diabetes,” the
“Stigma is a challenge that often surfaces with these
conditions, but it is especially similar to that which employers face when
attempting to help employees suffering from mental illness…employees fear their
managers will view them as not able to shoulder their responsibilities as
effectively as their colleagues, with ramifications for new assignments and
Job Market, Businesses Remain Upbeat
Make Financial Resolutions
Caregivers Make Financial Sacrifices