NSC Business and Industry Division news Research/studies Worker health and wellness Worker Health and Wellness

Most family caregivers find it hard to balance those duties with work, survey shows

Photo: gece33/gettyimages

Washington — In light of its recent survey of family caregivers that shows 67% struggle to balance work with caregiving duties, AARP is calling on employers to create “friendly and supportive” policies and benefits.

The survey, conducted in partnership with financial analytics firm S&P Global, involved 1,200 full-time and part-time U.S. workers who provide more than six hours of unpaid care a week to another adult. Respondents were employed by organizations with more than 1,000 workers.

Other findings:

  • 27% of the caregivers said they’ve shifted from full-time work to part-time or have reduced their hours, while 16% have turned down a promotion.
  • 16% have stopped working entirely for a period – and 13% have changed employers – to meet caregiving responsibilities.
  • 80% agreed that their employers are more understanding of child care issues than the responsibilities of adult caregiving.

AARP points out that as the population ages, more older adults will need care. By 2030, the number of U.S. adults 65 and older will surpass the population of adult children.

“As the backbone of America’s long-term care system, providing $600 billion every year in unpaid labor, family caregivers need and deserve greater support from their own employers,” Susan Reinhard, director of the AARP Public Policy Institute, said in a press release.

Suggestions for employers include:

  • Offer flexible schedules and work locations (hybrid/remote).
  • Arrange for access to support groups, career coaching and financial advising resources.
  • Provide paid/flexible leave specifically for caregiving duties.
  • Host free sessions to highlight how caregivers can optimize benefits and company policies.
  • Ask senior leaders to share how they’ve used caregiver-supportive benefits and policies.
  • Train managers on caregiver-inclusive practices.
  • Start or support an employee resource group for caregivers and parents.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)