Did you know the cost to employers of full time employees that are dealing with “intense caregiving” responsibilities totals more than $33 billion? This was uncovered in a study conducted several years ago by the MetLife Mature Market Institute so the numbers are actually expected to be higher at this time.
If you’re one of the myriad individuals in the so-called “Sandwich Generation”, those adults that are still involved in their careers, raising their own families while shouldering the responsibility of caring for parents, chances are, you are part of that demographic.
Caregivers for aging parents or other relatives can be involved in tasks as simple as grocery shopping or housekeeping and chauffeuring duties to providing levels of care that involve bathing, cooking, providing at-home medical care and others. Employers, in some instances, make accommodations to these caregivers just as they would for parents needing to take time off to care for a sick child. The costs associated with covering the time the employee takes off, to workday interruptions, unpaid leave, moving an employee from full time to part time and training his or her replacement are part of what figures into the $33 billion.
Do you fit the caregiver demographic as outlined in the report and the National Alliance for Caregiving? It uncovered the following:
- 40% of caregivers are men
- The average age of the caregiver is 47
- The majority of caregivers are caring for a relative over the age of 50
- Most caregivers provide unpaid care to an aging relative
- Close to 20% of all caregivers provided care to a relative that lived more than an hour away
- Close to 10% of all caregivers eventually leave their full time employment and work reduced hours to provide full time care to a relative
What can you and your family do if you are in this situation and leaving your job or cutting back your hours simply isn’t an option? If your aging relatives are insistent on aging in place, there are choices available. Many caregivers realize that in order for Mom and Dad to age in place, the home must undergo some renovations to make it more elder-friendly. These renovations can be as simple as removing trip and fall obstacles to locating kitchen items on lower shelves to updating and upgrading the bathroom fixtures to accommodate an individual with limited mobility by installing grab bars by the toilet and in the shower stall.
Another way caregivers can make certain that their relatives are cared for when they are at work is to equip the home with a medical alert device. The devices cost pennies a day and provide peace of mind for both your aging relative and yourself when you can’t be there to take care of them. Whether your relatives are dealing with ongoing medical issues such as diabetes, heart conditions or stability issues, wearing a personal medical device means that help is literally only the push of a button away. If your relative suffers a medical emergency or a trip or fall, simply pushing the button will provide access to assistance from the trained LifeFone Care Agents and will set in motion phone calls to local medical emergency personnel or family members as outlined in your personal profile. Explain to your parents that the device can be worn 24 hours a day, even in the shower, and provides peace of mind for the entire family.
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