Caregivers and The Workplace Affecting Better Senior Care

Posted on September 22nd, 2010

BY:  Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC
President Elder Connections

ElderCare Support is Critical

A recent study conducted at The University of Pittsburgh found that caregivers generate an increase of 8% in excess medical costs as compared to those who are not caring for their elderly parents.  The results of this study suggest that caregiving an older relative is an important factor in the health, medical care expense, and productivity of employees across all age groups.

While caregivers have increased health issues reporting depression, diabetes, hypertension and pulmonary disease regardless of their age, they are not likely to identify themselves as caregivers in the workplace.  One survey reported that of those companies providing eldercare support, only 2% of employees utilized these services!  What gives?

Reduce Fears, Perceptions and Costs

We know that caregiving is dangerous to our health and costs employers an estimated $17.1 – $33.6 billion annually attributable to caregiving.  But, what we also know is that difficult economic times generate anxious employees, fearful of the perception that there is anything in the way of their company loyalty and focus of attention.  Can caregiving be a dirty little secret?

Create Caregiver and Workplace Partnership

Meeting at the East Coast Conference on Aging from the American Society of Aging Conference in Philadelphia, Dolores T Magid and Beverly Bernstein Joie met with other professionals in aging to dialogue about this dilemma.  How can we help caregivers in the workplace?

What do you think?  If you could get help at work, would you sign on?  How can better senior care become accessible the workplace without giving employees one more thing to worry about?

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