In our workplaces all around us, though sometimes unseen, caregivers are faced with the task of trying to balance work and children while caring for an adult friend or family member. We know there are only so many hours in a day to squeeze in work and all of life’s other responsibilities. The result is that personal health and well-being almost always fall by the wayside. In the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Mature Market Institute study referenced below, the health related problems and employer health costs are finally quantified.
Simply put, working caregivers are far more likely to drive up health costs than non-caregivers. Considering the demographics of our population, it will continue to present an increase cost for health plans and financial burden for corporate America.
Our team here at AGIS stands ready to help you address this issue proactively with your clients and prospects. Thank you for your time, and we look forward to the possibility of working with you.
Caregiving Employees’ Health Problems Can Cost U.S. Companies $13.4 Billion Yearly
Most employers are promoting “health and wellness” programs to contain their healthcare costs and to improve employee productivity. Diabetes maintenance programs, cardiac programs, weight loss programs and smoking cessation program are some of the more common. While struggling as an overburdened, depressed caregiver year over year, it is not very likely that an employee can or will participate meaningfully in one of these health and wellness programs.
AGIS’ employee surveys reveal that 44% of employees report being involved in a caregiving event either currently or recently. This is after they have received education making them aware of all the tasks included in ‘caregiving’. They just think they are “helping out” with their parents or family members. With caregiving having a 44% prevalence rate in the workplace, shouldn’t we do something to address the healthcare toll that caregiving takes on the workforce? As seen in the Caregiver Healthcosts study (www.maturemarketinstitute.com) caregiving significantly increases the rates of cholesterol problems, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, kidney disease and heart disease.
Proactively addressing caregiver awareness and education is critical to managing overall employee health costs and productivity losses. Remember that the number one problem with caregiving is that caregivers don’t self-identify. So without broad-based workplace education, caregivers will not recognize their plight, caregiving services will go under-utilized, and other health and wellness program will be ineffective for those caregivers dealing with the stress, depression and anxiety created by caregiving for years on end. AGIS would like to help you “care for the caregiver” first! It makes good business cents!
Metlife’s Mature Market Institute Study with the National Alliance for Caregiving, Bethesda, Md., and the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Aging