Common Issues and Statistics Regarding the Family Caregiver in the Workplace

If employees spent less time worrying about home, would they be more productive at work?

National studies report:

  • A little over one out of every four households (29%) is involved in providing care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend.
  • Just over half of all caregivers for persons aged 50 and over are employed full time.
  • Nearly 75% have had to change jobs or stop working because of the demands of family caregiving.
  • The need for family caregivers increases each year. The population of people over 65 years is expected to increase at a 2.3% rate, but the number of family members available to care for them will only increase at a 0.8% rate.

These trends result in the demand for workplace eldercare programs.

What are the employee problems?

  • Coming to work late/leaving work early
  • Increased absenteeism and workday interruptions, with an average of 166 lost hours of productivity per employee per year
  • Taking unpaid leaves of absence or using personal or sick days to provide care
  • Refusing relocation or work-related travel
  • Refusing overtime work or new assignments
  • Increased healthcare benefit utilization because often they end up more sick than the person for whom they are providing care
  • 20% will quit their jobs to provide care full time

What are the greatest needs for working caregivers?

  • Flexibility in work schedules
  • Information about services and aging in general
  • Support from coworkers and supervisors
  • Help in making decisions about care options and related issues

How much is unmanaged eldercare in the workplace really costing my company?

Lost productivity due to employees’ needs to address eldercare issues is estimated to cost U.S. businesses about $29 billion per year. Another national study reported that companies without eldercare benefits stand to lose $2,500 a year per caregiving employee.

What is the return on investment (ROI)?

The most valuable return on investment for an eldercare program is employee retention. The time, money and valuable expertise that are lost when employees leave is far more costly.

Since 1996, it has been reported that every $1 spent on eldercare programs gets a return of $3 – $5 in productivity, retention and reduced absenteeism.

What sorts of benefits do eldercare programs typically offer?

  • Work time flexibility
  • Financial assistance
  • Phone- or Internet-based resources and referrals
  • Face-to-face consulting
  • Educational activities like on-site seminars and health fair kiosks