With the number of Americans older than 65 expected to increase from 34 million to 62 million by 2025, more than 94% of the companies surveyed by the Conference Board, a New York-based research organization, expect elder care to be an increasing concern over the next five years.
Indeed, since 1991 the percentage of companies -- as surveyed by the Conference Board -- that offer elder-care programs has increased from 13% to 30%. One reason: Companies are trying to reduce productivity losses from time lost by employees to take care of elder parents -- which are estimated to be $11.4 billion annually. Why the high cost? Unlike child care, elder-care tasks have a greater unanticipated impact on work schedules and cause more absenteeism because of crises, deteriorating health, and the geographical distance between workers and their parents.