What is the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work?

Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work is essential for every business.  American companies lose over $33.6 billion every year in lost productivity from full-time employees who are caregivers, which is over $2,110 per full-time employee caregiver.  Studies have shown that employers pay about 8 percent more for health care for caregivers as compared to non-caregivers.  From the view point of the caregiver, they lose wages and social security benefits, and potentially job security, career mobility and employer sponsored benefits.  So there is a long term impact on caregiver’s retirement security, career mobility, and employment-related benefits such as health insurance and contributions to retirement plans.  Family caregivers (age 50 and older) who leave the workforce to care for a parent lose, on average, nearly $304,000 in wages and benefits over their lifetime.  Research suggests that assuming the role of caregiver for aging parents in midlife may greatly increase a woman’s risk of living in poverty in old age.

-Cheryl Fahlman, PhD