Campaign Launched to Help Employees Balance Work and Caregiving

November 19, 2007 ( - The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) - in cooperation with the National Alliance for Caregiving - has launched a campaign to help businesses and employees work together on the growing problem of balancing the responsibilities of work with caring for a family member.

The campaign encourages businesses to hold a “Company Caregiving Luncheon” during November, National Caregiver’s Month, at which n4a will make available copies of the MetLife Mature Market Institute guide, “Resources for Caregivers.” A spokeswoman for the campaign said in a press release, “As a first step, businesses can become informed and discuss issues and helpful options with employees. We encourage businesses to plan one day this month to talk about caregiving and to offer employees the gift of knowledge – ‘Resources for Caregivers.'”

At the “Company Caregiving Luncheons,” copies of “Resources for Caregivers” will be distributed through the local Area Agencies on Aging and Title VI Native American aging programs by n4a, through a grant from MetLife Foundation.

“Caregiving information should become a regular part of the conversation that businesses have with employees, similar to health benefits and other human resources issues,” said Gail Gibson Hunt, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, in the release.

In its announcement, n4a said nearly 60% of those caring for an adult over age 50 are working, the majority of them full time. Studies show employees who are also caregivers cost employers anywhere from $17 billion to $33 billion annually, due to lost time at work, frequent interruptions, or leaves of absence.

Programs to assist caregivers include services such as transportation assistance, support groups, caregiver education programs, and respite.