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Supporting employee caregivers makes good business sense

Guest Contributor: Heather Tinsley-Fix, Senior Advisor, AARP

November is definitely a month that revolves around family. Whether we travel to or host holiday and Thanksgiving gatherings, our wider extended family is on our minds. It’s a month for remembering the need to care for our people – and that includes employees. You may already know that unpaid family caregivers are the backbone of long-term care supports and services in this country.  But did you know that nearly 17% of the US workforce falls into their ranks? That translates to roughly one sixth of your employees!  Some more surprising facts – half of these caregivers are Millennials and Gen X’ers, and 40% are male. Over the next decade, these numbers will grow significantly as the population ages.

This trend will have a significant financial impact for both caregivers and employers. Individuals spend an average of $7,000 annually on caregiving-related expenses. And failure to support employee caregivers can cost employers nearly $3000 per employee caregiver – via lower productivity, more absenteeism, higher health costs, and ultimately, staff turnover.

AARP and the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) have learned that supporting employee caregivers need not be expensive or complicated to make an impact. We’ve partnered to create a toolkit to help you understand the demands on employee caregivers and offer specific steps you can take to them – often at low- or no-cost. Download our free guide – Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers to learn more. The Guide includes tear-out sheets, a list of additional resources for both employee caregivers and managers, and data about what other organizations are doing to support their working caregivers.

Together, AARP and NEBGH are making it easier to know not only why to support employee caregivers, but also how to support them. Download our free guide – Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers and visit the website for more tools.

Please share this with your teams and networks. For more information, contact me or Tricia Sandiego, at

PS: The Guide is also available as a printed, bound book. To obtain free copies, call 1-877-333-5885, select option 1, and request “Supporting Caregivers in the Workplace: A Practical Guide for Employers” item number D20353.