Female Parental Caregivers May Need Work Leave Suddenly

April 23, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Approximately 22% of women with two living parents said in a recent poll that they will need time off from work to care for aging parents.

A news release from the Securian Financial Group about its survey said just over half (52%) the female respondents said they had no plans for time off because of parental care responsibilities.

In any event, female employees might not know they need leave until the last possible moment, according to the survey, as they scramble to find quality care either in their parents’ home or outside in a care facility.

According to the survey conducted for Securian by Gestalt Inc., 84 % of the women surveyed with a parent who had received care indicated no plans were made until care was needed.

“Most women will face the challenge of caring for their parents at some point in their lives,” said Kim Anderson, product manager, Long-Term Care Insurance, Securian, in the news release. “Our survey indicates that women can do more to prepare themselves and their families for it – financially, emotionally and in terms of time demands and where the care will be given.”

In families where the parents stay in their home, 70% of women whose parents are both living say they are most likely to be the family member providing care. Other family members likely to provide care in their parents’ homes would be their sisters (38%) or brothers (23%).

Not surprisingly, respondents said they worried about the money needed to make the scenario happen. Nearly half of all women in the Securian survey said they are concerned about the quality of care their parents will receive because of the women’s own limited finances. Thirty-two percent said they are concerned about quality of care because of their parents’ limited finances.

In the Securian survey, 62% of women reported that they are concerned their money will not last through retirement and 57% agreed that after meeting current financial obligations, there is little money to put away for retirement.

Gestalt Inc. conducted a nationwide online survey in January 2007 with 400 women who were part of the Survey Sampling Inc. consumer Web panel. Respondents were ages 30 to 64 with a minimum total household income of $40,000.