Support for Working Family Caregivers

Happy employees stay with the company, are more productive and motivated and create better experiences. Six in 10 caregivers are employed while caregiving. While people between the ages of 50 and 64 represent the largest age group of caregivers, Millennials make up nearly a quarter of caregivers, and among those individuals age 18 to 34, men are just as likely to offer care as women

A key to better employee experiences is and will be identifying, embracing and creating programs for family caregivers in the workforce.

The “MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs” examined the additional cost of a series of major health conditions reported by employees with eldercare responsibilities and non-caregiving employees. The estimated average additional health cost to employers is 8% more for those with eldercare responsibilities. This 8% differential in health care for caregiving employees is estimated conservatively as costing U.S. employers $13.4 billion per year.

Employees providing eldercare were more likely to report fair or poor health in general, more likely to report depression, diabetes, hypertension, or pulmonary disease regardless of age, gender, and work type.

Addressing the Need

We work with health care organizations to help them retain talent and boost morale while developing the processes and acquiring the services that help them aid caregivers while becoming more dementia friendly.

Employees must understand what a caregiver support program will do for them, need the services or policies that are offered, trust that using the program or even revealing their caregiving responsibilities will not lead to negative workplace consequences. We help organizations first by working on the culture toward caregiving. Services include:

  • Assessing the organizational level of knowledge of the warning signs of dementia, skills as an organization for interacting with people who have dementia, and the ability to make referrals to support services.
  • Conducting workplace surveys that includes a caregiver self-assessment tool.
  • Conduct an organization needs assessment prior to establishing a caregiving program.
  • Help organizations become familiar with the issues of employed caregivers and learn about existing internal policies and internal and external resources.
  • Research companies with best practices toward family caregivers and emulate their programs.
  • Consider best in class vendor services that can provide outside counseling, referral and resources.
  • After implementation, conducting an annual health risk survey of all employees and include a question about caregiving and the anticipation of caregiving responsibilities.

Did you know?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), there has been a steady decrease in the proportion of US employers with eldercare programs. The percent of companies offering referrals for eldercare has dropped from 22% in 2007 to 9% in 2011. Paid family leave had decreased from 33% of employers reporting in 2007 to 25% in 2011.