Employees & their aging parents: Why Businesses should care

Productivity

  • Lower productivity: NAC/AARP (2015) study found among working family caregivers, 60% make a work-related change due to caregiving responsibilities:
    • Arriving late/leaving early/taking time off (49%)
    • Taking a leave of absence (15%)
    • Reducing work hours (14%)
    • Quitting work or retiring early (10%).

Health & Well-being

  • Deteriorating physical health: Higher number of chronic conditions (including heart attack/heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis); Commonwealth study (2005) showed nearly twice the rate of noncaregivers (45% vs. 24%)
  • Deteriorating cognitive health: Greater risk for cognitive decline, including short-term memory loss, attention and verbal IQ
  • Deteriorating emotional health: Caregivers experience higher levels of frustration, anger, feeling drained, guilty or helpless as a result of providing care

Healthcare Costs

  • Higher healthcare costs: for caregivers (than non-caregivers). MetLife (2010) found an 8% increase, costing U.S. businesses $13.4 billion per year 

Goal: Businesses must Promote positive Eldercare culture

U.S. businesses lose up to $33.6 billion per year in lost productivity


To minimize loss of revenue, businesses should encourage a positive Eldercare Culture at all management levels in order to promote employee well-being

Understanding Your Eldercare Culture

We are living in an era of aging demographics, and as such, many of your employees have aging parents. This brings much stress and worry which often negatively impacts work, such as absenteeism, presenteeism, late arrival, early departure, or quitting jobs. 


As an employer, it is critical to assess your Eldercare Culture. The term Eldercare Culture signifies the eldercare services provided by your employer assistance benefit program, as well as, attitudes / level of understanding held by supervisors towards employees' stress from worries around their aging parents. 


As an employer, the important question to ask yourself is: Is your company meeting the needs of your employees when it comes to providing for their aging parents? 


Many employees realize they ought to start planning ahead for their aging parents but do not know how to start the conversation with their parents, or where to turn for help. Yet, many employees do not bring up these concerns because they believe their employer will view them as being ineffective in their jobs. Sadly, in too many cases, the aging parent experiences a medical crisis, and the result is tremendous stress for all, including the employee, the aging parent, and the employer.  


It is imperative that your business does everything to support employees' efforts to plan ahead. The first step is to develop a supportive Eldercare Culture

image20

Consultation: How it works

Assess Eldercare Culture

image21

To evaluate impact of employees' concerns around aging relatives' well-being, a brief (5 minute) online survey is given to employees to assess:


  • Concerns around their aging relatives' well-being
  • Feelings of mastery, self-efficacy and competency
  • Knowledge of aging services
  • Level of stress and impact on work
  • Level of workplace support for eldercare

Presentation in Workplace

image22

A formal presentation educating  employees how to prepare for the needs of their aging relatives. The presentation will cover: 


  • Assessing the time to 'step in'
  • How to start the conversation
  • Developing a plan and what to consider
  • Aging services and resources
  • Caregiver self-care

Reassess Eldercare Culture

image23

To evaluate  sense of mastery and knowledge gained from presentation, a  brief (5 minute) online survey is given to employees one month later:


  • Concerns around their aging relatives' well-being
  • Feelings of mastery, self-efficacy and competency
  • Knowledge of aging services
  • Level of workplace support for eldercare