49% of Caregivers Spend 9+ Hours Each Week Caring for a Loved One
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter said it best: “There are only four kinds of people in the world — those that have been caregivers, those that are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” The number of employees with caregiving responsibilities is growing, and by creating a caregiver-friendly workplace, employers can support their employees in a way that delivers better outcomes for both employees and the company.
1 in 5
Working Americans are caregivers
Of caregivers have left a job because of caregiving stress
Average time spent on unpaid care per week per caregiver
Of employees worry caregiving will negatively impact their job performance
Annual cost to employers due to productivity loss, turnover and healthcare claims
Of employees would change jobs for a caregiving support benefit
Employee Caregiving Fact Sheet
Explore data from the second annual Employee Caregiving Survey of 200 adults in the U.S. who work while also providing support for loved ones. Conducted by Homethrive via a third-party survey provider in August 2022, respondents were asked how their caregiving responsibilities impact their employment, well-being and lives.
Caregivers often don’t identify with the term.
There is some confusion about what defines a caregiver – even among caregivers themselves. Caregivers often view their role as simply that of a daughter/son, spouse, parent, etc. who is “just doing their job” or “helping out.” A critical component of supporting caregivers is first understanding what the role entails.
Who is a caregiver?
A caregiver is a person who provides care and assistance to another person with limitations related to illness, injury or disability. The care recipient may have mobility limitations, dementia, behavioral or mental health conditions, developmental disabilities or any situation (permanent or temporary) that means they need some level of assistance with daily living activities and other aspects of life.
What does a caregiver do?
Caregivers may provide many different types of support, such as:
- Bathing, personal hygiene, dressing and toileting
- Getting in and out of bed or a chair and walking
- Meal preparation and feeding
- Organizing and giving medication
- Managing and attending appointments and maintaining medical records and information
- Managing therapies and treatments
- Arranging nursing and other medical supports
- Performing basic medical tasks
Other life management tasks:
- Shopping for food, clothing and other essentials
- Providing transportation or organizing transport
- Managing finances, paying bills, planning for the future
- Housekeeping and home maintenance
- Managing communication with others
- Arranging respite care providers
Who do caregivers care for?
Caregivers may be caring for:
- An aging parent, spouse or senior adult
- A minor child or adult child with disabilities or complex medical needs
- A spouse, sibling, family member or another individual with a chronic health condition or disability
What’s the difference between parenting and caregiving?
Taking care of a typically developing child has its obligations and responsibilities, but for parents of children with developmental disabilities or chronic health issues, the responsibilities are often much more demanding and unpredictable. A parent who is also a caregiver is providing care to their child (of any age) who needs some degree of assistance beyond what is typical for a person of a similar age.
What's so challenging about caregiving?
When one person is dependent on another for daily living activities such as meals, transportation, arranging appointments and other personal care, the impact is significant and puts stress on all other areas of the caregiver’s life.
Furthermore, many times caregiving doesn’t have a definite rhythm or end — it’s rife with unexpected events that need immediate attention, and it can last for years or even an individual’s entire life.
What is a caregiver-friendly workplace?
A caregiver-friendly workplace provides the flexibility and support to help employees keep their jobs while also taking care of their loved ones. With strong policies and practices, companies can reduce stress on their caregiving employees while also reducing absenteeism, turnover and healthcare costs.
Why Do Caregivers Need Workplace Support?
Employee caregivers carry an especially heavy personal burden, setting them apart with regard to work-life balance policies.
The Business Case
The Business Case for Being a Caregiver-Friendly Workplace
Like other benefits that support employees, caregiving benefits offer a valuable return to companies. When caregiving employees feel supported by their employers, they are more productive, loyal and healthy, and companies can better compete for new talent and reduce costs related to turnover and healthcare claims.
Increase employee engagement
Increase retention, reduce turnover, and attract top talent
Reduce healthcare claims and costs
Improve diversity, equity and inclusion
Six Reasons to Support Caregivers at Work
In the years to come, more employees — not fewer — will be caregivers, likely to an aging parent. With the Baby Boomer generation just now entering the age of decline, more of their children will be stepping into the role of caregiver. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age in the U.S. is now 38.9, up from 35 in 2000 and 30 in 1980. Americans are getting older, and with age comes the need for assistance. Sooner or later, companies will need to adjust to the needs of these workers. Here are six reasons to get started now.
How Companies Benefit from Supporting Caregivers
When implemented properly, companies can benefit in numerous ways from caregiver-friendly policies. Hear from a worker rights attorney as she explains the connection between caregiver support and company success.
How to Get Started
How Your Company Can Create a Caregiver-Friendly Workplace
No matter how caregiver-friendly your company is today, there are clear steps you can take to improve company support for caregivers. The following tools are designed to help you establish a starting benchmark and build on it.
How Caregiver-Friendly Is Your Workplace?
Take this quiz to learn to what extent your company currently supports caregivers. At the end, you’ll receive a score and a free report detailing what your company is doing right and how it can improve.
Building a Caregiver-Friendly Company: Five Steps to Get Started
This article digs into the best practices for companies embarking on building a caregiver-support program. Businesses in all corners of the country are recognizing how this kind of support helps their employees and their own bottom lines. Here’s how they are getting started.
Policies & Practices
What Does a Caregiver-Friendly Workplace Look Like?
Your caregiver support policies may be a work in progress as you learn what works best for your employees. There are four main areas where caregiving support should appear loud and clear for companies committed to supporting their employee caregivers.
A culture that is understanding of employee caregiver needs must start at the top. Given that half of employees regularly do not share their status as a caregiver with their supervisor out of fear of being seen as less valuable, company leaders need to set the pace. Read Creating a Culture of Care in the Workplace to get started.
As with other benefits that concern family, flexibility is critical to a caregiver-friendly workplace. Employee caregivers are not asking to be paid for not working; they’re asking to be able to work in a way that allows them to get their job done while accommodating their caregiving responsibilities. Read Flexibility: The Heart of a Caregiver-Friendly Workplace for more insights.
Well-designed caregiver benefits can reduce the stress employees are experiencing when they try to balance work and caregiving. These benefits can help them be more productive at work and a more effective caregiver while also delivering measurable company improvements. Learn what works in our article, Build a Program That Helps Employees and Companies.
Caregiver support programs, policies and benefits, especially new ones, must be communicated extensively in order for them to be effective and appreciated — and for your company to reap the potential rewards. Read Communication: Critical for a Successful Caregiver Workplace Support Programs for best practices.
Quick Reference Sheet
Four Pillars of a Caregiver-Friendly Workplace
The best human resource programs and policies are those that make life better for employees while also improving one or more aspects of the company’s profitability, resiliency, stability or risk profile. A properly designed caregiver support program will be held up by four pillars.
Take the Next Step
More resources are available to help your company start its journey on becoming a caregiver-friendly workplace.
Start the Conversation at Your Organization with a Screening of the “Unseen” Documentary
The one-hour “Unseen” documentary gives an unfiltered, honest glimpse into the lives of caregivers and their families. Host a virtual or in-person screening event at your company that will jumpstart the conversation about improving support for caregivers in the workplace.
Homethrive is transforming the way we care, making it smarter, easier, and more rewarding for everyone.
Whether caring for a loved one due to age, disability, or a medical condition, our intuitive online platform provides personalized advice and expert assistance, however and whenever it’s needed. We help caregivers discover a better way forward that prioritizes their loved one’s care and their own wellbeing, so they can thrive at home and at work.