HR Florida Review (Fall 2010) featured an article by David Nunes, Jr., an independent benefits consultant and member of the Great Miami Society for Human Resource Management. The focus of the article explained that having a systematic approach to improving the overall health of the employees can also provide a healthy return on investment when employers are successful in motivating the employees to participate in a health improvement program that is usually tied to wellness and disease management. Through these programs health risks are uncovered, reduced and large health insurance claims thereby avoided. The macro view was how rising health care costs affect employers which is a hot topic with new Health Care Reform laws.
An excellent article, however it did miss noting an increasing important topic facing employers and human resources management professionals today. A large culprit affecting rising employer health care costs is workplace productivity losses due to care giving responsibilities of an older family member combined with the additional declining health of the caregiver due to stress. ”The annual cost to companies for workers’ lost productivity due to elder care responsibilities is estimated at $2,110 per employee, to a tune of $33.6 billion a year,” (Mature Market Institute, Productivity Losses to U.S. Business, National Alliance for Caregiving, July 2006). With the rising need for long term care services overall since this study almost five years ago, and grave estimates for increases in diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and Diabetes, as an example, the employers have more responsibility now than ever to educate their workforce on the issues surrounding Long Term Care.
Just a few additional stats to share from this study and the AARP Public Policy Institute report Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Family Caregiving, 2008:
- At least 6 out of 10 employed caregivers reported making work-related adjustments (turning down promotions, reducing hours).
- The US Department of Labor estimates that 30% of the work force is currently involved in caring for an aging parent or relative (many part of sandwich generation).
- 9% of employed caregivers left their place of work; 3% took early retirement, 10% went from full time to part time.
- The typical U.S. caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works outside the home (sandwich generation).
If you are a business owner or human resources manager or benefits specialist and would like to learn more, please request an e-copy of our free report “Long Term Care Insurance At The Worksite: An Overview” on our website. This publication is part of our education and outreach program we provide at the worksite to help employers and employees learn about their options for Long Term Care Financing and Long Term Care Insurance Planning in general including Voluntary Group Benefit programs. The Long Term Care Lady is a national member of the Society for Human Resource Management and local member of the HR Collier Chapter, Florida.
- 64% of Working Sandwich Generation Say They Live Paycheck to Paycheck (caregiving.com)
- MetLife Study Uncovers the Worries Caregivers in the Sandwich Generation Face (eon.businesswire.com)
- Alzheimer’s Caregivers: The Sandwich Generation (webmd.com)
Tags: Alzheimer's disease, care giving, Caregiver, early retirement, Health care, health care reform, HR Florida, human resources managers, long term care, long term care insurance, Sandwich generation, voluntary group benefits