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Caregivers With Full-Time Jobs Seek Support and Benefits From Employers; Here's What They Need

Among the most sought-after benefits were personal time off (PTO), flexible work hours, and flexible work locations.
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Matthias Zomer
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Matthias Zomer

A larger number of professionals in the US are now taking up caregiving duties outside their professional responsibilities, but at the same time, their well-being is also affected due to financial struggles. A survey conducted by Securian Financial, a leading provider of group life and supplemental health insurance benefits offered through employers, sheds light on the expectations that caregivers have from employers to protect their interets.

Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Caregiving roles (representative image) | Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

Responses from 1,759 caregiving Americans employed full-time, revealed the challenges faced by caregivers and identified the types of benefits and resources that would be most beneficial. Caregiving, as defined in the survey, encompasses household chores, personal care, and financial management for individuals such as family members with disabilities, significant others, parents, grandparents, or other adults in need of care. The findings of the survey highlighted the impact of caregiving on various facets of a caregiver's personal wellness, which have been listed below.

Virtual Wellness Challenges. Pexels | By Anastasiia Vyshnevska
Virtual wellness challenges | Pexels | Photo by Anastasiia Vyshnevska

Mental wellness: 57% of caregivers reported that their caregiving duties have a significant impact on their mental well-being. The emotional toll of uncertainty, as expressed by one respondent, reflects the complex emotional landscape caregivers navigate daily.

Financial wellness: As many as 54% expressed that their financial well-being is adversely affected by their caregiving responsibilities. For many, the necessity of taking time off work or reducing work hours to fulfill caregiving duties exacerbates financial strain, as highlighted by a survey participant.

Social Wellness: More than 50% of the caregivers noted a negative impact on their social well-being, citing the lack of personal time and the inability to engage in leisure activities or socialize due to their caregiving commitments.

Physical wellness: Around 45% reported that their caregiving responsibilities affect their physical health, indicating the toll that the demanding nature of caregiving can take on one's physical well-being.

Work performance: A significant 37% of caregivers acknowledged that their caregiving responsibilities have an impact on their performance at work, indicating the interconnectedness between personal and professional spheres.

A staggering 78% of caregivers expressed an expectation for their employers to provide benefits and resources to support them in their caregiving roles. Among the most sought-after benefits were personal time off (PTO), flexible work hours, and flexible work locations, all of which directly contribute to easing the juggling act between work and caregiving responsibilities.

Healthcare after hospital discharge is the main thing. This is a good startup idea where apps provide in-home medical help to patients who have just recovered from chronic diseases|Pexels
Healthcare after hospital discharge is crucial and caregivers at home often have to provide it (representative image) | Pexels

In response to the growing demand for workplace support from caregivers, the survey suggests several recommendations for employers:

Demonstrate trust and empathy: Employers are encouraged to cultivate a culture of trust and empathy, acknowledging the unique challenges faced by caregivers and accommodating their needs accordingly.

Expand benefit education: Employers should invest in educating employees about available benefits tailored to caregivers, offering sessions and resources that provide comprehensive information and support.

Validate confidentiality and job security: Employers must reassure caregivers about the confidentiality of utilizing benefits and ensure that their job security is safeguarded.

Establish employee resource groups: Creating designated spaces for caregivers within the workplace fosters a sense of community and support, allowing caregivers to share experiences, exchange advice, and advocate for their needs collectively.