Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Attention Caregivers: Health Care Costs Getting You Down? You're Not Alone...

A new study by MetLife Mature Market Institute in collaboration with the National Alliance for Caregiving and the University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging found that if you are a caregiver, it will likely affect both your health and your employer’s healthcare costs. Employees caring for older relatives are more likely to report health problems such as depression and hypertension. The healthcare costs for these employees are eight percent higher than for non-caregivers. Younger caregivers (18-39) generate even higher health care costs for employers- about 11 percent more than other employees.

The study highlights these important health implications for caregivers and their workplaces, but also points out that this is an opportunity for reform.
“Employers can provide support to their employees and, at the same time, reduce their health care costs by anticipating and responding to the challenges of eldercare,” asserted Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
The study recommends improvements in access to flexible work schedules, paid time off and telecommuting as ways to reduce the health problems that caregivers experience and also to show support for caregiving in the workplace. The full study can be found here.

Visit WISER’s Caregiving webpage for more caregiving resources.

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