Benefits for caregivers can curb healthcare costs, boost productivity
- A new report from the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) says that offering benefits and services to caregivers has big payoffs for both workers and employers. According to the report, caregiver benefits have the potential to increase productivity by lessening burdens on care providers, decrease caregivers’ healthcare costs through subsidies and attract and retain talent who are, or might soon become, caregivers.
- “Many employers — including our members — are expanding company-paid leave, experimenting with peer-led caregiving support groups, providing subsidies for services that offer back-up caregiving and connecting employees with resources who can help navigate the complexities of caregiving,” said NEBGH CEO Laurel Pickering.
- Pickering adds that a challenge for employers is helping caregivers get past the stigma attached to their role, which can deny them promotions and other opportunities for advancement.
NEBGH worked with AARP, which also funded its Solutions Center for working on caregiver issues. Employers can partner with AARP and other caregiver specialists to provide benefits and supportive services for this group of workers.
The report notes that a growing number of caregivers are millennials — the largest segment of employees in the workforce. Their vast numbers alone make offering benefits and services to caregivers a worthwhile investment for employers.
But the impact of caregivers has been felt beyond any one group. In 2016, AARP estimated that 23.9 million U.S. employees provided care for others at home, creating a huge potential need for time off, leaves of absecene and even outright resignation.
The issues is also significant from a legal standpoint, as most cases involving caregivers are ruled in favor of plaintiffs. The frequency of such cases has skyrocketed; one researcher said cases involving eldercare experienced a 650% increase in the past decade.