Eldercare in the Workplace

Met Life research states employer costs of caregiving is over $33 billion per year. These costs include replacing employees, absenteeism, crisis care, workday interruptions, supervisory time, unpaid leave, and reducing hours from full-time to part time.

CHA is partnering with Nevada employers, to survey their workforce and develop focus groups to generate ideas for programs to provide eldercare service and support in the work place. This program is a win-win-win: for the employer, the employed caregiver, and the person receiving care!

Below are the results from the survey that was sent out to the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority:

Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority – Eldercare in the Workplace Survey Summary

Providing care to parents, other family members, or friends is becoming pervasive. People do not necessarily know what to do or where to go for help. This survey is designed to help identify the issues and problems of eldercare in the workplace. Once the issues are identified, we can start taking steps towards developing helpful educational and service programs.

This study is sponsored by the State of Nevada Governor’s Commission on Aging and the Center for Healthy Aging in cooperation with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The survey questions were designed to gather information about the issues and needs that workers have in trying to meet the responsibilities of providing care to older adults (50 years and older). On May 24, 2010, the eldercare survey was sent out via email to 484 employees. By June 3, 2010, 87 responses were received, representing 17.9% of the survey workforce. All responses were voluntary and confidential.

Survey Highlights:

}  48 employees spend and average of 104 working hours per year on caregiving responsibilities.  Based on their average salary, the employer’s cost is approximately $400,000/year.

}  One-half of the caregivers are in the early stages of caregiving (0 – 1 year);  a good time to reach them with information and education.

}  71% of caregivers responded that their work/career has been affected in some capacity due to their caregiving responsibilities.

}  59% indicated they take personal time for their caregiving responsibilities; 27% have used their vacation time.

}  61% of the caregivers would like to know more about Caregiving benefits offered through their employer.

}  63% of the employees rated their health as good; 18% as excellent; and 20% as poor.  Health concerns arise when employees are also caregivers.  The stress of balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can negatively impact the employee’s health.  Costs (ie: premiums) for the employer can (and typically do) increase when the employee’s health declines.

 

Washoe County Eldercare in the Workplace Survey Summary

Providing care to parents, other family members, or friends is becoming pervasive. People do not necessarily know what to do or where to go for help. This survey is designed to help identify the issues and problems of eldercare in the workplace. Once the issues are identified, we can start taking steps towards developing helpful educational and service programs, with a guaranteed Return On Investment.

This study is sponsored by the State of Nevada Governor’s Commission on Aging and the Center for Healthy Aging in cooperation with Washoe County, especially Washoe County Senior Services.

The survey questions were designed to gather information about the issues and needs that workers have in trying to meet the responsibilities of providing care to older adults (50 years and older). In September, 2010 and January, 2011, the eldercare in the workplace survey was sent out via email to 2500 Washoe County employees. 168 responses were received, representing less than 1% of the workforce. The less than 10% survey return is way below the national average of 15 – 25% working caregivers and the study did not explore the other lost productive elements or the costs associated with absenteeism,  reduction of work load to part time, or termination. All responses were voluntary and confidential.

Survey Highlights:

}  168 employees spend an average of 260 working hours per year on caregiving responsibilities.  Based on their average salary, the employer’s cost is approximately $1 million per year

}  One-half of the caregivers have been doing it for 3+ years

}  71% of caregivers responded that their work/career has been affected in some capacity due to their caregiving responsibilities

}  75% indicated they take personal time (breaks/lunch) for their caregiving responsibilities; 70% sick leave; 70% have used their vacation time

}  42% said they cannot continue caregiving or are unsure

}  53% of the caregivers would like to know more about caregiving benefits offered by Washoe County

}  29% rated their own health as fair or poor

The stress of balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can negatively impact the employee’s health.  Costs (ie: premiums) for the employer increases by 8%, because the employee caregiver’s health declines.

These initial surveys indicates a need for programs to provide eldercare service and support in the work place.

If you are a large employer and would like to send this survey to your workforce, please contact the Center for Healthy Aging, Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D. at 775-376-3210 or larry@addinglifetoyears.com.  CHA would like to help you and your employees ‘add life to years’.

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