When young Beatles fans first heard “When I’m 64,” the lyric, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me?” was only a cute rhyme. Now, replaying their memories of the Fab Four’s U.S. invasion 50 years ago, aging baby boomers may find the questions more relevant.
More than 40 million people had responsibility for an elder’s care in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many who are responsible for this care have day jobs to go to and must hire someone else to help their aging relative, typically a parent, with bathing, dressing, housekeeping and transportation. When these regular care-giving plans fall through, employees often must take time off from work to provide the care themselves.
It’s also an “equalizer,” Gastfriend said, to offer various kinds of backup care, because companies that offer only child-care benefits are sometimes seen as unfair to employees who do not have children.
This way, “there’s more of an emphasis of benefits throughout the lifespan,” she said. “That includes self-care. Employees can use this backup care for themselves, if they are out on temporary disability and need some help at home.”
Cercone described backup elder care as “extremely valuable … in terms of attracting recruits and keeping them here and increasing employee engagement. The return on investment is well worth it.”
Piedmont Healthcare, which has 11,000 employees at five hospitals and two large clinics in the Atlanta area, recently decided to add subsidized backup elder care to its roster of benefits.
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