WASHINGTON, DC— Today, AARP and the Respect A Caregiver’s Time Coalition (ReACT) released a new report, “Supporting Working Caregivers: Case Studies of Promising Practices,” which points to the provision of caregiver-friendly policies and practices as a potential new weapon in the war for talent. Fourteen case studies in the report highlight organizations leading the way by providing a broad array of information resources and referrals, flexible work arrangements, paid time off for caregiving, emergency backup care, and, in some cases, high-touch counseling and care management advice.
“Family caregivers juggle their loved one’s needs with their own personal and professional goals every day. AARP hopes this report will encourage more employers to understand caregiving and support their employees’ success,” said Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer for AARP, which sponsored the report.
Interviews with business and human resources executives from the profiled organizations indicated that time and flexibility are what matter most to employees when it comes to balancing work and caregiving. Close to half of the employers interviewed provide paid time off for caregiving as well as emergency backup care and flexible work arrangements.
All offer employee caregivers a combination of information resources, referral services and advice by phone. Most provide resources online, typically through an employee assistance program (EAP) or an intranet portal. More than half offer phone consultations or 24/7 expert hotlines. Several interviewees stressed the value of providing on-site, independent eldercare consultants, noting that employees appreciate both the convenience and the respect for their privacy.
The 14 case studies in the new report include well-known organizations from both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, and both large and small employers. They represent a broad set of industries, including financial services, health care, higher education, home care, management consulting, media, and technology.
It is estimated that of the 40 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S., 60 percent are employed. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP Public Policy Institute, nearly 25 percent of all family caregivers are millennials, and 50 percent are under the age of 50. This means that the growing number of family caregivers in the workforce is an issue that all employers will face. The NAC/AARP research also revealed that 61 percent of working caregivers must make workplace accommodations including modifying hours, taking a leave of absence, choosing early retirement or turning down a promotion.
“ReACT represents a cross-sector employer effort to raise awareness of and spur action to meet the challenges millions face every day while taking care of an older loved one,” said Drew Holzapfel, convener of ReACT. “It’s exciting to see how leading organizations are showcasing the value of employee caregivers’ dual roles at home and in the office.”
To read the full report, click here:
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ReACT is an employer-focused coalition dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by employee caregivers and reducing the impact on the companies that employ them. ReACT represents nearly 1 million employees through its membership of more than 40 companies and nonprofit organizations. ReACT seeks to create a supportive business environment where the challenges faced by caregivers juggling the demands of both work and caregiving for an adult with a chronic age-related disease are understood and recognized by employers so that employees can better meet their personal and professional responsibilities. Please visit www.respectcaregivers.org for more information or follow @ReACTCare.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.