Why Elder Care Benefits? The Personal Stories Behind the Numbers

elder care benefits

HR likes to make its case for benefits with big numbers.

But it's often the personal narratives that tell the real stories.

Take our friend Jennifer Benz:

"This past spring, I got that phone call no one ever wants to receive. My mother had experienced a cardiac incident and had to be resuscitated. Mom, heart stopped, resuscitated was about all I heard or understood before I was on a flight."

Jennifer wrote about her experiences with her family earlier this summer, about how her mother was already in the hospital when her grandmother was rushed to the ER: about plane rides and sleepless nights, about becoming one of the millions trying to care for elder relatives from far away.

"I'm more concerned than ever about how we address this within our organizations, large and small," she wrote, talking about the threat to livelihoods and careers and employee retention. She quoted numbers from our study: that 99 percent of employees we surveyed said backup care is important for them to complete their regular work responsibilities. "Common-sense programs like referral resources and backup child care and elder care already exist," she wrote.  But, "only a portion of employers offer this as a benefit."

The Big Numbers Behind Elder Care Benefits

It's an issue exactly because of some of those big numbers we like to use -- that 44 million people are caring for elder relatives, that 10,000 boomers age into retirement every day, that the numbers say it's an inevitability that the issue is coming for all of us -- and that none of us can afford to assume it's somebody else's problem.

"We have seen time and time again that introducing these benefits has a positive impact on the whole company, not just those who use them," wrote Jennifer. "Caring for loved ones is real life. It is time for us to build work around that reality." Best wishes to your mother and grandmother, Jennifer.

We're so glad they're both doing well.

And thanks for sharing.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

About the Author

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The Bright Horizons Blog Editor frequently posts on the real solutions that meaningfully support employees, advance careers, and drive the world’s leading brands. The Editor curates the latest news, trends, and challenges facing HR pros because your time is scarce. Follow the Bright Horizons Blog to receive this insight in your inbox.