Management Must Address Growing Elder-Care Dilemma

By Michael A. Verespej Between one-third and one-half of all employees will have some type of elder care-giving responsibilities within the next 10 years, suggests a report released last week by San Francisco-based Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Washington-based Fannie Mae. Those responsibilities could lead to annual productivity losses of between $11.4 billion and $29 billion a year. In addition, the report estimates that the cost to business of replacing employees who quit their jobs due to care-giver responsibilities is another $5 billion per year. "The progression, medical complexity, financial considerations, and lack of personal and institutional planning for elder care creates a confounding situation for many family members who also work full-time," says the BSR. The report suggests companies offer an on-site, full-time eldercare consultant to help employees find care givers, navigate their way through Medicare and other payment options, and deal with the emotional upheaval that results from meeting the needs of an aging parent.

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