Family Caregivers Cost Employers $34B in 2004
Individuals who work full time and also serve as caregivers for elderly family members cost U.S. employers about $34 billion in 2004, a 16% increase from 1997, according to a report released on Monday by the National Alliance for Caregiving and MetLife, the Wall Street Journal reports. For the report, researchers examined a 2004 survey of 1,247 caregivers conducted by the alliance and AARP to calculate the cost for employers.
According to the report, employers in 2004 paid about $2,110 annually for each of the 15.9 million full-time employees who serve as caregivers. Replacement of the 9% of those employees who quit their jobs cost employers about $6.6 billion in 2004, and absenteeism and workday interruptions cost employers about $6.3 billion, the report finds.
Employers must "realize there's the potential for disruption and absenteeism" among employees who serve as caregivers, and "it's likely that the situation is going to get worse" as the parents of baby boomers reach their 80s in larger numbers, Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, said.
The alliance and MetLife have developed an online calculator to help employers estimate the cost of employees who serve as caregivers and provide employers with low-cost resources to help those employees find the flexibility necessary to remain at work (Greene, Wall Street Journal, 7/11).