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Care@Work / Care@Work Blog / Committing to Senior Care Benefits in 2021

Committing to Senior Care Benefits in 2021

POSTED BY
Julie Wittes Schlack on March 26, 2021 10:06 AM

A survey of 500 Human Resource leaders and C-suite decision-makers, recently conducted by Care.com, reveals that many companies are abandoning the “nice to have” benefits critical to a centralized workforce (such as free lunches and commuter benefits) in favor of benefits that have greater impact on the way we work today and will continue to work tomorrow.

Since 1950, the average global life span has increased by three decades. In about twenty years, there will be more Americans over the age of 60 than under the age of 14. By 2025, chronic diseases will affect nearly half the population – an estimated 164 million Americans.

The impact of this demographic shift is already enormous. Today, roughly 45 percent of employed caregivers – typically adult children and in-laws to the elderly – substitute for formal medical and nursing care, managing medications and diet, hiring and scheduling paid helpers, and providing direct care themselves – all while holding down paying jobs of their own.

The cost of that dual duty is substantial, both for these informal, unpaid caregivers and their employers. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that:

• “Caregivers providing substantial help with health care were significantly more likely to experience emotional… physical… and financial difficulty than caregivers providing no help.”

• “Caregivers providing substantial help with health care activities were more than 5 times as likely to experience participation restrictions in valued activities… and more than 3 times as likely to experience work productivity loss.”

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While there is growing awareness of the need for senior care benefits, among participants in our study, plans to expand senior care benefits (41%) trailed plans to expand child care benefits (63%). But with the aging of the workforce coupled with the elder care needs highlighted by the pandemic, visionary HR leaders recognize that the need for senior care will become ever more urgent if they are to retain their seasoned workers.

The 56% of respondents who already offer paid memberships to online platforms to find care help and the 47% of those who plan to expand this benefit understand this.They recognize that such platforms are of equal value to those caring for the old as those caring for the young.

Read the full report here

Julie Wittes Schlack

Julie Wittes Schlack is a research consultant, founder, and former SVP of Product Innovation at C Space Corporation. She is the author of This-All-At-Onceness (Pact Press, 2019).