Employers & Caregivers

Beyond the Workday: Finding Balance For The Working Caregiver

Employers face many challenges today, from recruitment and retention of quality workers, to engagement and productivity on the job.  Many employees are also struggling – especially those who care for an aging relative or friend. 

Nearly 60 percent of people caring for an adult over the age of 50 in the U.S. are working; the majority of those work full-time. [1] Ninety-two percent of eldercare in Minnesota is provided by family caregivers. [2]

The Working Caregiver Initiative provides employers with resources to address the needs of employees who are balancing work and caring for an aging or sick family member or friend.  It was developed to increase employers' knowledge about caregiving issues in the workplace and provide some tools to support working caregivers.

Finding ways to support working caregivers is a cooperative effort.  Successful solutions will work for both the employee and employer. Assessing the unique needs of working caregivers is a good place to start.

Did you know?

  • At least 60 percent of working caregivers have made some work-related adjustments as a result of their caregiving responsibilities. [3]
  • Elder caregiving costs American employers $17 billion to $34 billion in lost productivity annually. [4]

Quotes

  • Owner:  "When I inherited this company, it was fun to create a work environment exactly like one I'd want to work in. My father always saw the business as a vehicle for all of us to lead better lives – not just the owners, but all the employees."
  • Business manager: "Everyone is handled case by case.  We all have another life outside of work... We provide a great work environment, and that's enabled us to attract really great people who work very hard."
  • CEO: "You don't have to give everyone the same special treatment; you just have to treat everyone specially!"

Sources:
1,4 - Caregiving in the United States, National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, 2004.
2 - Minnesota Department of Human Services, 2005.
3 - Met Life Caregiving Cost Study, Met Life Mature Market Institute and National Alliance for Caregiving, 2006.