Oct 30, 2017 by Comfort Keepers Newark, DE
With the baby boomer generation getting older and older each day, it’s no surprise that the senior population in our country is incessantly increasing.
Alongside this increase comes the need for caregivers, the first source of which is the immediate family.
When these children become caregivers to their aging parent(s), they’re put in quite a predicament. They are called the “sandwich generation,” meaning they are stuck between caring for their older parents, as well as their growing children. On top of that, they must work to earn a living.
Unfortunately, most employers do not recognize this extra work their employees are doing in their personal lives, and thus do not offer any extra “caregiver” benefits. You may be thinking, that’s alright – the caregiver must be older themselves and close to retiring, so what does it matter?
The assumed profile of this sandwich-generation caregiver is a woman in her late 40’s who works either part of full time, and spends approximately 20 hours of care to her aging relative(s).
However, in all reality, half of these caregivers are younger than 50, and a quarter are actually millenials. Therefore, there is a need for caregiver benefits from every employer.
Fortunately, a coalition called Respect A Caregiver’s Time (ReACT) is conducting studies, raising awareness and promoting change in the workplace for this reason.
For example, a university staff in Atlanta was questioned about their potential caregiving involvement at home. The results were astounding: 15% of the over 13,000 staff members are already caregivers, and almost 60% of them expressed concern about becoming a caregiver for an aging relative within the next three years.
The university therefore launched a support program for caregivers a few years later. Some of the components of the program include:
At another company who is offering caregiver benefits, it was reported that over 90% of employees were happy and relieved to at least know the option is there for them if/when they need it.
Additionally, companies around the nation are now offering backup senior care options in addition to the typical backup childcare services.
Companies are beginning to understand that including these benefits doesn’t have to be expensive – and they will benefit the company itself in the long run, too. Having employees quit because they need to care for their relative but aren’t being supported by their workplace can quickly lead to the downfall of said workplace, especially at the rate the senior population is growing.
Within the next few years, you can plan on seeing more and more companies offering more benefits to their caregiver employees, and rightfully so.