Elder care ■
_Kathy's not alone--many Americans are caring for aging relatives. It's not easy. Those who care for elderly adults suffer more anxiety, irritability, depression, and physical health problems than people who care for children.
Employers lose over $33 billion dollars of productivity each year to employees caring for elderly people. And 62 percent of employed caregivers report that their responsibilities have negatively impacted their productivity. Many families have no alternative but to either cut back on work responsibilities or stop working completely in order to care for their loved ones.
And no wonder. The financial cost alone is hefty. Although some state programs exist, there are no federal programs available to help defray the costs of elder care to working families.
Currently, about a quarter of employers provide some kind of elder care benefits, and most of these (11 percent of employers) are referral services that help employees find caregivers. Some employers are also trying new ways to help employees integrate their caregiving responsibilities into their lives.
Elder Care Programs in the Workplace:
Although the impact of elder care services on families and employers has not been studied as thoroughly as other family-friendly benefits, most employers believe that elder care programs reduce employee stress, decrease absenteeism, and boost productivity.
_"It’s not a matter of whether businesses will face productivity issues related to elder care, but when and how they will effectively respond."
-Sandra Timmermann of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
“Gauge a country’s prosperity by its treatment of the aged.” - Rabbi
Nachman of Breslav