May 14, 2010

Often, you’ll find them speaking in hushed tones on their cell phones at their desks.  They may also be the ones who arrive for work a few minutes late, sneak out a half-hour early, or take an extra-long lunch break.

No, it’s not that they are any less dedicated to their jobs than the people around them.  These are the growing number of working adults who, in addition to their own families, are also responsible for the care of their aging parents.

A family caregiver in the workplace presents an unusual and costly set of problems for an employer. Consider:

  • More than half of all men (54%) and women (56%) report that they make changes at work to accommodate their care-giving responsibilities.
  • Lost productivity associated with eldercare issues costs U.S. businesses between $11.4 and $29 billion per year.

There are many thing businesses can do to ease the burden, while also improving the care giving employees’ productivity.  Here are four of them.

1.  Offer flexible work schedules

2.  Provide and utilize eldercare resources and referrals

3.  Encourage caregivers to care for themselves

4. Consider subsidizing eldercare

St. Louis home health agencies can help too. For more information on common issues and statistics regarding family caregivers in the workplace and how assisted home care in St Louis and surrounding areas can help employees, click here.