Factoids on Elder Care and Relocation

This article accompanies And Mother, Too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010
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* Only 66 percent of female employees typically accept a U.S. domestic relocation vs. 81 percent of male employees, according to Relocating Women in the U.S.: Trends and Comparisons, a study conducted in 2005 by Prudential Relocation and Worldwide ERC. The reason is that women give more consideration to personal and family issues when deciding whether to accept a transfer.

* There are 35 million adults providing unpaid care to an adult over 50 years of age, according to Caregiving in the U.S., a 2004 study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Nearly 60 percent of caregivers have worked at some time while they were actively providing care.

* By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the 65+ age group will more than double in size to 20 percent of the population, compared to 13 percent in 2000 -- growing from 35 million to 72 million. The implication, according to the Worldwide ERC 2008 Family Issues Survey, is there will be a growing need for elder care in the coming years.

* Among the various forms of family assistance examined in the Worldwide ERC 2008 report, elder care is offered least often. Results seem to indicate that, in part, one of the reasons for this may be that transferees have not requested it as often as other types of family assistance. These charts from Worldwide ERC show the percentage of companies that have either formal or case-by-case plans to provide assistance as well as the types of help that is offered.

* Three-fourths of men (72 percent) and eight in 10 (81 percent) women who had elder-care responsibilities reported they either lived with or near their care recipient, according to the Worldwide ERC report, which cited a 2003 report by MetLife, entitled Sons at Work: Balancing Employment and Eldercare.

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* Those who care for an elderly relative or friend are more likely to report health problems, such as depression, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, costing employers an estimated average additional healthcare cost of 8 percent per year, or $13.4 billion annually, according to the MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs.

* The MetLife study also found that younger caregivers (ages 18 to 39) cost their employers 11 percent more for health care -- suffering significantly higher rates of cholesterol, hypertension, depression, kidney disease and heart disease -- than non-caregivers. Male caregivers cost an additional 18 percent.

* Employees with elder-care responsibilities were slightly more likely to report missed days of work, with 10 percent missing at least one day of work over the past two weeks because of health issues, compared to 9 percent of non-caregivers, according to the MetLife study. Differences were mostly driven by the much higher absenteeism among younger caregiving employees (ages 18 to 39).

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