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Many workers care for an aging parent or loved one. Unfortunately, the dual responsibilities of work and caregiving often put undue stress, leading to caregiver burnout. As a result, a growing number of employers are implementing better elder care benefits to assist employees who help care for an aging parent or loved one. Keep reading to learn more about your options.

Elder Care Benefits As An Employer Benefit

What Is Home Care?

Homecare refers to the day-to-day assistance professions provide to help elders maintain their quality of life while aging in place. The levels of home care can vary based on individual needs. For example, some aging seniors may need help with transportation or weekly trips to the store. On the other hand, others may need more intensive assistance like bathing, dressing, or housework.

Fortunately, there are various qualified home care workers capable of helping your loved one. Depending on the level of care needed, you can hire a certified CNA or a home health aide, but, in most cases, family members typically become primary caregivers.

If you become your loved one’s caregiver instead of hiring a home care worker, you are not alone. Millions of Americans between 30 and 50 help care for an aging loved one. But, as you know, caring for someone else while juggling work/life balance isn’t easy. But it’s especially true when you work full- or even part-time. According to AARP and The National Care Alliance, the average family caregiver spends around 24 hours per week caring for a loved one. Consequently, family caregivers have very little personal time to rest and recharge from week to week or even day to day.

The Importance Of Employer-Sponsored Elder Care Benefits

As can be seen, acting as your loved one’s primary caregiver while working is particularly taxing, both physically and mentally. And if left unchecked, the strain can exasperate underlying issues that contribute to caregiver burnout. Over time, you may find yourself unable to meet any responsibilities while caregiving or working. As a result, you might experience unintended consequences such as diminished relationships with loved ones or difficulty meeting your parent’s care needs.

All of these problems emphasize the importance of employer-sponsored elder care benefits. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, the problem is so pervasive that researchers have found “a link between working caregivers with eldercare responsibilities and their health care costs.”

"In one study, employers paid about 8 percent more for the health care of caregiver employees compared to non-caregivers, potentially costing U.S. businesses $13.4 billion per year. "

AARP Public Policy Institute
Stressed woman who needs elder care benefits at work.

The high cost of health care expenses for employees undergoing caregiver burnout isn’t the only thing affecting employers. For example, tardiness, extra time off, and diminished productivity are just a few problems.

As the population ages, many employers recognize that more of their employees will become responsible for their loved ones’ care, leading to an increasingly overstretched workforce. So to better support those who provide home care, many companies are working on implementing elder care benefits. 

For example, programs such as Dependent Care Assistance Plans allow you to set money from your paychecks aside before taxes to put towards elder care. Likewise, elder care benefits generally include subsidies that cover the cost of elder care and support groups for employees. Additionally, flexible work options, like working from home and providing time off, can do much to ward off caregiver burnout.

Discussing Elder Care Benefits With Your Employer

Unfortunately, many working family caregivers don’t have access to these benefits in the first place. So if you find yourself under these circumstances, you may feel trapped between both work and home care responsibilities. And although more employers are implementing programs to provide elder care benefits, the 2014 National Study of Employers shows that companies can do more to help. According to the study, which surveyed 1,051 non- and for-profit employers:

Of course, communication with your employer is the best way to start a dialogue about the importance of elder care benefits. Or, you can encourage fellow caregiver coworkers to attend while you present your case. Finally, you can frame your concerns as a workforce and productivity issue, which addresses the emotional and practical aspects of the problem.

MeetCaregivers Can Help

You might feel that you are on your own, overwhelmed, and overworked, but it’s important to realize that it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, we want to help you find the support you need and prevent caregiver burnout before it happens. Hiring a professional caregiver may be one option if your current employer lacks elder care benefits and you have more on your plate than you can handle. 

With that in mind, 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 companionship they need. In the same vein, the Care Portal gives you access to your loved one’s care so you can track and monitor them throughout the day.

For more information, contact us at 1-888-541-1136 or info@meetcaregivers.com. And if you want more resources about caregiving, our blog has plenty of information. In addition, Boston’s AARP website is another source for area events and extra support for you and your loved ones.

  • Choula, R. B., & Feinberg, L. F. (2012, October). Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving and Work. Washington, DC. Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/ltc/2012/understanding-impact-family-caregiving-work-AARP-ppi-ltc.pdf.
  • Galinsky, E., & Matos, K. (2014, May 21). The Good News About Elder Care Benefits At Work. Forbes. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/05/21/the-good-news-about-elder-care-benefits-at-work/#7ecf88b14ada
  • Jones, J. (2018, November 8). The Benefits of Offering Backup Elder Care to Employees. Workforce.com. Retrieved April 11, 2019, from https://workforce.com/news/the-benefits-of-offering-backup-elder-care-to-employees