An increasing amount of the U.S. workforce is caring for aging parents or loved ones. The dual responsibility of work and caregiving often places stress that can result in caregiver burnout. As a result, a growing number of employers are implementing better elder care benefits to assist employees who help care for an elder.
What is Home Care?
Home care is the day-to-day assistance some elders require to maintain their quality of life from the comfort of their home. The levels of home care can vary. Some aging seniors may need help with transportation or weekly trips to the store. Others may require more intensive assistance like bathing, dressing, housework, and similar activities.
There are multiple levels of qualified home care workers who are capable of helping your loved one. Depending on the level of care needed, you can hire someone who is a certified CNA or just beginning their career as a home health aide.
However, it is family members who frequently become primary caregivers. If you are currently assisting a parent or other relative with daily tasks, you understand the responsibility is overwhelming at times. It is difficult to care for someone else while juggling matters in your own life.
Subsequently, the challenge can become exasperated if you work a full-time job or have other responsibilities that take up the majority of your time.
How Caring for Aging Loved Ones Affects Careers
Acting as your loved one’s primary caregiver while working full time is both physically and mentally taxing. Perhaps you haven’t experienced it for yourself, but many others in your shoes have dealt with the effects of caregiver burnout.
Caregiver burnout costs employers nearly $13.4 billion in health care expenses every year. [i] If you are have opted to provide care rather than hire a home care worker, you are not alone. Millions of Americans between 30 and 50 are responsible for the care of a senior family member. Your situation is understandable and not uncommon. [ii]
The high cost of health care expenses for employees experiencing caregiver burnout isn’t the only thing that affects employers. Additionally, tardiness, taking extra time off and decreased productivity are just a few problems stemming from balancing home care and work.
Many employers recognize that as the population continues to age, more employees will be responsible for their loved ones’ care. As a result, they will find an increasingly overstretched workforce. So to better support those who provide home care, many companies are working on implementing elder care benefits as part of their benefits package.
Elder Care Benefits as Part of Employee Assistance Programs
As an example, programs such as Dependent Care Assistance Plans allows you to set money from your paychecks aside before taxes to put towards elder care. [iii] Furthermore, as of 2014, nearly 43% of employers offered Elder Care Resource and Referral and 7% of companies provided respite care. [iv]
Further benefits included in elder care benefits include subsidies that cover the cost of elder care and support groups for employees. Additionally, flexible work options, like the ability to work from home and providing time off, can do much to ward off caregiver burnout. [v]
However, many employees may not have access to these benefits and feel trapped between the responsibilities of both work and home care. Some employers may not have a program in place that provides elder care benefits as part of an employee assistance program.
Communicating with your employer is the best way to start a dialogue about the importance of elder care benefits. Also, encourage fellow caregiver coworkers to attend as your present your case. Then frame your concerns as a workforce and productivity issue, which addresses the emotional and practical part of the problem. [vi]
How MeetCaregivers Can Help
Meanwhile, hiring a home care worker is one option if your current employer lacks elder care benefits and you have more on your plate than you can handle.
Hiring a caregiver with MeetCaregivers allows you to remain hands-on in your loved one’s care. Our qualified caregivers will carry out routine tasks throughout the day, so elders get the one-on-one attention they need.
You might feel that you are on your own, overwhelmed, and overworked. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We want to help find the support you need and prevent caregiver burnout before it happens. So give us a call or e-mail us today.
Contact MCG and Find Other Resources
For more information, contact MeetCaregivers at 1-888-541-1136 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for more resources about caregivers? Our blog has plenty of information for you to read and learn about the topic. For area events and extra support, Boston’s AARP website is another source for you and your loved one.
[i] The Benefits of Offering Backup Elder Care to Employees. (2018, November 08). Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.workforce.com/2018/11/08/the-benefits-of-offering-backup-elder-care-to-employees/
[ii] Feinberg, L., & Choula, R. (2012, October). Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/ltc/2012/understanding-impact-family-caregiving-work-AARP-ppi-ltc.pdf
[iii] Avenue, N. (2014, May 22). The Good News About Elder Care Benefits At Work. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/05/21/the-good-news-about-elder-care-benefits-at-work/#7ecf88b14ada
[v] The Benefits of Offering Backup Elder Care to Employees. (2018, November 08). Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.workforce.com/2018/11/08/the-benefits-of-offering-backup-elder-care-to-employees/
[vi] Avenue, N. (2014, May 22). The Good News About Elder Care Benefits At Work. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/05/21/the-good-news-about-elder-care-benefits-at-work/#7ecf88b14ada