If you have been tasked with caring for an elderly loved one, you know how difficult it can be to juggle work and family time. To take on this responsibility, many people worldwide have had to reduce their hours or quit their jobs entirely. Fortunately, some companies understand where they are coming from and have taken steps to help provide a solution for employees with eldercare support responsibilities. There are a variety of ways employers can offer eldercare benefits to their employees. We explore some of these below.
Employers are growing more aware of the need to provide eldercare support. This is because there is a need for caregivers. With the increasing population of seniors, employers will have no choice but to take responsibility.
When employees feel supported at work, they will be less likely to turn down opportunities for promotion or new assignments. Employers will also improve employee retention rates and reduce absenteeism by offering caregiver benefits like eldercare assistance programs (EAP) or eldercare referral services (ERS).
Eldercare Support in the Future
The United States Census Bureau predicted that by 2030, there would be a total of 24.6 million people who are 65 years old and older in the US, which is about 19% of the entire population in America. This change is particularly significant because it means that the senior population will have a more substantial impact on our social welfare programs and health care systems than ever before.
The majority of these seniors are living independently. However, many still need help with daily activities. These activities include taking medication, cooking, getting dressed, bathing, and more from their children or nearby family members. Most seniors will depend on the help, and this help will put a strain on the workforce. These helpers will have to have flexible jobs. This will allow workers to care for their loved ones and continue to get work done. This is piled on top of childcare and work, leaving little leisure time for the caregiver which can cause some burnout.
Care Needed for Elderly is Going to Explode
Caring for aging parents is going to become more of a problem. This is because the baby boomers have started to enter this age bracket. It is not only going to put a strain on the children of that generation but the entire workforce as a whole. The baby boomer generation will be the largest elderly generation that this country has ever had to handle. Employers are bracing themselves as they know there simply aren’t enough options out there. This is why they have come up with some beneficial solutions such as:
- They are offering accommodations under the Family and Medical Leave Act. This would allow the employee to take time off that they need and still get paid. This doesn’t always apply to have an extended period such as six weeks off. FMLA also allows employees to shorten their workday.
- Offering Support Groups is another option for employees. This would allow employees to meet up with others who have the same struggles and maybe learn coping ways.
- They are preparing incoming managers for the sensitivity around this subject. Companies across the nation will have to learn to be more flexible as more and more people struggle to find this balance.
Eldercare is never going away but only becoming more of an issue as the generations get larger. However, it is nice to see that employers are proactive in incorporating this issue into their overall balance.