The Wisconsin Family and Caregiver Support Alliance is releasing the results of its new statewide employer survey to recognize February 15 as National Caregivers Day.
National Caregivers Day is observed annually on the third Friday in February, recognizing the care providers, both paid and unpaid, who provide personal cares of all types to people with disabilities, older adults and other family members and friends who require support to remain
healthy and living in their homes and communities. It is estimated that in Wisconsin, 549,000 caregivers are providing 588,000 million hours of care to loved ones annually, valued at nearly $6 billion dollars.
Employers recently confirmed the impact of caregiving on the Wisconsin workforce in a survey sponsored by WFACSA and released this month. The survey was taken by a total of 222 employers across various sectors of the state economy. On average, companies report that 44% of their employees have family caregiving responsibilities with nearly a quarter of employers reporting that caregiving increases stress in the workplace.
The most common strategies Wisconsin employers indicated they used to support their employees with caregiving responsibilities were allowing flexible schedules (74%) and making referrals with Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) (50%).
Suggested strategies include:
Flexible Work Hours:
Caregiving employees are seeking increased flexibility over their work environments. Help employees remain engaged and productive using telecommuting and remote positions.
Analytics may help businesses analyze root causes, such as the need for manager training, review of compensation strategies for caregiving employees, or a change in the work culture that will address caregiver stress or help with fulfilling work duties.
Health, wellness and adequate employee training:
Another area of importance is multi-faceted wellness programs including a
comprehensive employee assistance programs, training and educational opportunities during worktime like “Lunch and Learn” sessions. The training can focus on anything from local resources available to help care for an aging parent with dementia to navigating paperwork and benefits for an adult child with disabilities.