Benefits have always been the marker of a good job. Healthcare, dental, even childcare are all areas where American employers have recognized they need to offer their employees some help. But as the makeup of the American population changes, these benefits will have to be changed to suit the new American households.
According to the Administration on Aging, seniors are one of the most rapidly expanding groups in America. By 2030, the AoA estimates that seniors, ages 65 or older, will make up at least 19% of the US population. This new, larger group of seniors means a whole host of medical and emotional needs will fall to their families and loved ones. The Washington Post reports that the number of Alzheimer’s disease sufferers will triple by 2050, meaning that there will be a large population of Americans in need of part- or fulltime care. Currently over 80 percent of elder care falls to family members and loved ones, to combat these numbers, some companies are taking proactive steps.
An influx in the senior population means that the new American family will have a different set of needs. Some employers are trying to meet them now. The Post reports that companies like DC’s Fannie Mae branch are looking into helping their employees by offering them elder care benefits. These include offering flexibility in working hours, geriatric assessments, social worker services, referrals to adult day care, and emergency backup adult care. Companies are even looking into offering employers counseling to help with legal, financial and emotional counseling as well as Skype services that will help employers stay in contact with elderly dependents who live far away.
Fannie Mae isn’t the only company that’s recognizing the new structure of American homes. Employer-offered elder care benefits have increased by 31 percent since 2008. Currently 43 percent of employers offer their workers some type of elder care support. The trend is a hopeful one, acknowledging the changing makeup of our families.
At Capital City Nurses, we know that taking care of an elderly loved one can be a fulltime job. If you have a loved one who is aging into a phase where they may need care, consider talking to your employer to learn about your company’s benefits and services.