- Many employees have eldercare responsibilities, and from late June to early July, elder care support company Homethrive surveyed 200 caregiving workers to learn how those duties weighed on their work lives. Among its findings, the company learned that 43% of respondents spent five or more work hours per week "distracted, worried, or focused on caregiving — and not their jobs," while 20% spent nine or more work hours per week on the same.
- The survey also showed a gap between employees’ needs and the support they received from employers. More than half of respondents said their supervisors were not as supportive as they needed them to be, and 79% said employers are not yet offering or not communicating about benefits that support caregiving. Eighty-four percent said they would be receptive to the idea of such a benefit.
- "There are 60 million Americans caring for aging loved ones or those with special needs right now," Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, vice president and chief marketing officer at Homethrive, told HR Dive. "It impacts 1 in 5 employees … that impact is real."
With many more employees working from home, the pandemic has drawn more attention to the needs of caregivers. Much of that conversation has focused on parents and guardians with children at home. The need for home-based child care has hit women particularly hard, with the women’s labor force participation rate hitting a 33-year low in January.
But other caregiving needs are gaining momentum in the benefits space as well. Fertility benefits companies like Carrot and Ovia Health help parents prepare for child care and even pre-pregnancy preparations before a child has entered the picture, and Walmart rolled out a doula benefit in June. Disability care company Joshin has seen a 200% increase in its user base, and recently closed a seed funding round of $3 million. Even pet insurance benefits are growing.
With the large baby boomer generation moving progressively into retirement and slowly requiring more care, the focus on elder care support has been gaining steam, too. By 2030, all baby boomers — whose current population hovers at about 73 million — will be 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census. The generation is the second-largest in the U.S., after the millennials. With people living longer due to better health care, support for the nation’s oldest generation is likely to become an increasing need in years to come.