Workers caring for elderly relatives can cost small companies upwards of $200,000 per year, according to estimates given at a recent conference in Hartford, Connecticut.
Lost productivity as workers manage and juggle family affairs translates into lost money for firms, said Terrie Wetle, PhD, Director of Research for the Braceland Center of Health and Aging at the Institute of Living. Dr. Wetle was a featured speaker at the Care Management Institute sponsored by Connecticut Community Care, Inc.
"The triple demands of home and child, caring for elderly relatives, and employment may have a large impact on the worker's ability to meet the demand of the workplace," said Dr. Wetle. "Not only is family caregiving exhausting, but it can interfere with worktime by way of unplanned absences, tardiness, and time spent on the phone arranging care."
Dr. Wetle cited a study conducted at Traveler's Insurance which found that about 28% of employees over 30 care for elderly relatives. These employees devoted about 10.5 hours per week to caring for an elderly person and about 35% of this time was taken away from their jobs. Translated into dollars, a 500-person company is losing approximately $220,000 in employee time.
Connecticut Community Care is a nonprofit agency which specializes in finding home care providers for the elderly and disabled.