Nearly 80% of Workers Anticipate Caring for Elders

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Shelton, Conn. — Dec. 20
The vast majority of respondents to a new caregiving poll by LifeCare Inc., provider of comprehensive specialty care services and a longtime leader in the work/life industry, expect to provide care to older loved ones at some point during the next five years. Following are the full results of the poll, which was posted on LifeCare’s private Web site during the month of November and open to employees of its 1,500 client organizations:

Are you now or do you expect to be the primary caregiver for an older loved one within the next five years?

  • Yes – 77 percent
  • No – 9 percent
  • Not sure – 14 percent

“Obviously, with the aging of the population, the number of people taking care of older spouses, family members and other loved ones is going to rise,” said LifeCare CEO Peter G. Burki. “For employers, the impact to productivity and the bottom line could be quite significant. But employers can definitely prepare for and minimize these impacts with good caregiver support resources.”

Research estimates U.S. businesses lose billions of dollars each year in terms of absenteeism, turnover, caregiving crises and lost productivity related to eldercare alone. But providing employees with resource and referral services and backup care programs, for example, can diminish these losses.

Resource and referral services help working caregivers better understand and plan for their loved ones’ needs, make more informed caregiving decisions and more effectively cope with the stress of caregiving. Backup care programs help people make alternative care arrangements in advance to avoid missing work when they can’t provide the necessary care themselves or when their regular care arrangements break down. LifeCare’s Backup Care Connection program offers eldercare solutions (as well as childcare solutions), provides direct placement in a facility or with an in-home caregiver and features a nationwide network of 75,000 credentialed in-home caregivers.

Without these kinds of support, said Burki, many employees become overwhelmed by their caregiving duties while others are simply forced to arrive at work late, leave early, take the day off or quit their jobs altogether. “But these dire consequences are avoidable,” he added. “Eldercare support programs can protect an organization and its working caregivers in so many ways.”

Each month, LifeCare posts a poll on its private Web site, asking individuals to share their thoughts and opinions on the latest issues and work/life trends. Past polls have addressed topics such as stress, health and wellness, aging, flexible work arrangements and barriers to on-the-job productivity.

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