Everybody knows someone who is taking care of a family member. In fact, half of us are or will be among the more than 40 million family caregivers in the country who devote an average of 20 hours a week to caring for a chronically ill or disabled adult.
Paradoxically, the health of a caregiver – especially those who have dual responsibilities as employees and caregivers – often deteriorates due to the stress of juggling both work and continuous care giving. As a result, productivity on the job goes down almost 20% and personal health care benefit costs go up an average of 8% a year, about $550 for each caregiver.
The family caregiver dilemma is a looming national crisis of care for an aging population. For employers, the economic impact of employee caregiving goes right to the bottom line.