The “Sandwich Generation” has it tough. Not only are these Baby Boom parents raising kids, they’re also caring for aging relatives who demand more of their time: dressing, feeding or transporting them to doctor’s appointments.
All of this while trying to work in an office – often full-time.
Sandwichers got some good news with the release of a report claiming that employers who offer flextime and telecommuting for caregivers actually experience higher productivity along with a hefty return on investment for creating these programs.
Authored by AARP and ReACT (Respect a Caregiver’s Time), the report claims that for every dollar spent to create policies that benefit caregivers, companies saw a return on investment between $1.70 and $4.45.
In 2013, there were 40 million family caregivers in the country who provided a whopping $470 billion in unpaid care – 37 billion hours of care.
Besides flexible hours and working at home, these caregiver-friendly programs spanned an impressive array of options: adoption benefits, family leave, dependent care accounts, bereavement policies, counseling programs, domestic partner benefits, tuition reimbursement, even on-site car repair.
By quantifying the return on investment for caregiver-friendly programs, the authors claim the report, titled Determining the return on Investment: Supportive Policies for Employee Caregivers, is the first of its kind.
By 2020 the United States will need more caregivers than teachers, according to the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.