In March of 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a warning to employers about illegal discrimination against applicants and employees who are caregivers. But then they went one step further. In that same announcement, the agency also suggested employers support employees with care-related responsibilities. The exact wording is “Provide support, resource, and/or referral services that offer caregiver-related information to employees. Such services may include referral services for local child care centers or assisted living facilities, adoption assistance services, parenting education classes, college financing classes, or a toll-free caregiver hotline that provides guidance and advice to employees who have work-life balance questions or concerns.”
In Colorado, many services such as the ones listed by the EEOC are available for caregivers. The EEOC has asked that employers help their employees who are also caregivers find these resources. AgeWise Colorado can help with that.
Cost of Caregiving in America
More than 1 in 5 Americans (21.3%) are caregivers. 53 million adults regularly take care of an older adult or a child with special needs. 61% of these adults also work an average of 34.7 hours per week. Caregiving is hard work, especially when the caregiver is also working a full-time job.
This trend is playing havoc with many companies’ workforce. For example, 39% of caregivers leave their jobs to have more time to care for a loved one, and 34% leave because their work hours are not flexible. The cost to employees is significant. In a 2011 MetLife Study, the 10 million employees who cared for their parents that year lost an estimated $3 trillion in wages, benefits, retirement funds, and pensions. In 2022, that would equate to $3.9 trillion when factoring in inflation. The total costs are higher for women, who lost an estimated $324,044 in 2011 due to caregiving, compared to men at $283,716. In 2022, that would be about $421,000 and $360,000 respectively.
Employers are impacted as well. When caregivers are forced to miss work, U.S. businesses lose an estimated $25.2 billion in productivity. In addition, there are also health implications for caregiving employees that affect employers. Caregivers cost employers up to an additional 8% in health care costs.
The costs associated with employee turnover for employers are extensive. It’s not that easy to replace employees who leave. When a valuable worker quits, employers must recruit and retrain a replacement, which can be very expensive, especially in this tight job market. Temp employees and outsourcing can be significantly more costly than paying a full-time employee. Employers also lose valuable company knowledge and diminish their talent pool when senior employees leave.
As our population ages, this trend will only increase. And a new focus on public health and wellbeing due to the pandemic means that savvy employers should think now about how they can support employees who are also caregivers to reduce costs and increase retention.
AgeWise Colorado for Employers
Our free, easy-to-use digital hub offers vetted resources related to aging and caregiving. We aim to take the stress out of finding reliable assistance in times of need. AgeWise will connect employees with the education, information, and resources they need to make confident decisions about their aging loved ones’ care. The topics we address include:
- Financal & Legal Matters
- Home Modifications
- In-home Care Services
- Mobility Assistance and Information
- Transportation Resources
- Smart Technology
- End-of-Life Planning
- Community Resources
- Healthy Aging information
- Alternative Housing and Care
We continuously update the site with new information, education, and resources so visitors will always access the most current guidance to make real-time decisions.
The Benefits of AgeWise Colorado
By making AgeWise Colorado available to employees, business leaders will provide them with these very important benefits:
- Relieve employee stress and worry: Caregiving for a family member is stressful. In a 2015 study, about 63% of the family caregivers polled told AARP that they find their situation stressful and that stress was negatively affecting their health. AgeWise Colorado can help by providing experts to answer questions, resources for qualified in-home assistance, and access to healthcare professionals.
- Reduce unplanned absences: Not only are unplanned absences costly to employers, but they are also detrimental to employees. Employers identified unplanned absences and missed work days as the top reasons employees do not progress in their careers. Unfortunately, this situation often happens when employees are also caregivers. AgeWise Colorado can offer caregivers the resources and assistance they need to maintain a regular work schedule so that they and their employer can benefit from their work.
- Increase employee retention: The most significant factors contributing to caregivers leaving their jobs are the high costs of paid help (53%), the failure to find qualified paid help (44%), and the inability to meet job requirements due to caregiving responsibilities (40%). These are all challenges employers can help their employees overcome to keep them working. AgeWise Colorado can be that information hub for affordable and qualified paid help and other resources needed to keep a loved one safe and the caregiver at work.
Here’s what one local employer had to say about AgeWise Colorado. “Our employees feel supported knowing that we are helping to provide a resource that matters to them and their families,”
Employers must do better for their business and employees’ health and wellbeing. The trend of family caregiving is an issue of talent management. It will affect a company’s recruitment and retention success for decades. Offering caregiving resources and assistance to employees should be a given, not just an expensive perk for senior staff.
What Does it Cost?
Compare the benefits of AgeWise Colorado to Wellthy.com, a digital care-concierge platform that helps employers assist employees with caregiving needs. In a recent Forbes article, the CEO reports that the company typically charges employers $300 per employee per month, while direct-to-consumer charges are about $350 per month.
AgeWise Colorado is completely free to both employers and employees. Our mission is solely to meet the real public service need to alleviate the challenges older Coloradans and their families face by providing reliable information and trusted resources to help seniors thrive as they age.
However, AgeWise would love your company’s support in the form of sponsorship. You’ll benefit from offering our essential services to your employees and will also have the opportunity to put your company in front of a powerful local consumer and workforce audience. Contact us today to be an AgeWise sponsor.