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78% of caregivers working full time expect their employers to provide benefits supporting them as caregivers, survey finds
[April 03, 2024]

78% of caregivers working full time expect their employers to provide benefits supporting them as caregivers, survey finds


With more American workers taking on caregiving duties in their personal lives-and their overall wellness being impacted because of it-more employees expect their employers to provide benefits and resources to support them in their caregiving responsibilities, according to the results of a recent survey.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240403217051/en/

A bar chart showing how being a caregiver has impacted survey respondents' wellness (Graphic: Business Wire)

A bar chart showing how being a caregiver has impacted survey respondents' wellness (Graphic: Business Wire)

Securian Financial, a leading provider of group life and supplemental health insurance benefits offered through employers, conducted a survey of 1,759 Americans1 employed full time who are caregivers. The survey examined the whole-person wellness challenges of caregiving and what benefits from employers would be most helpful.

For the survey, caregiving is defined as providing a variety of support-from household chores and personal care to managing bills and attending appointments-at least once a week for a child with a disability, a significant other, parent/in-law, grandparent or other adult needing care.2

KEY SURVEY FINDINGS

  • Caregiving has the greatest impact on workers' personal wellness:

    • 57% of caregivers said their caregiving responsibilities impact their mental wellness.

      "Never knowing when the last day will be. Some days it's hard because you want to be honest in your emotions and you can't." - survey respondent

    • 54% of caregivers said their caregiving responsibilities impact their financial wellness.

      "Missing work or working less has placed my finances in a worse condition than they would be otherwise." - survey respondent

    • 52% of caregivers said their caregiving responsibilities impact their social wellness.

      "Not being able to rest or have 'me time.' Not having time in my day to really be alone or just do something as simple as watch a movie or sit down to eat. I eat standing up and doing other things in between bites." - survey respondent

    • 45% of caregivers said their caregiving responsibilities impact their physical wellness.

    • 37% of caregivers said their caregiving responsibilities impact their performance at work.

  • 78% of caregivers expect their employers to provide benefits and resources to support them as caregivers, and 73% of caregivers look to their employers to find support for their roles as caregivers.

  • Personal time off (PTO), flexible work hours and flexible work locations are the most closely aligned benefits for caregiving:

    • 94% of caregivers said their employers offer PTO, and 79% of them said they have used PTO for caregiving duties.

    • 86% of caregivers said their employers offer flexible work hours, and 82% of them said they have used flexible work hours for caregiving duties.

    • 82% of caregivers said their employers offer flexible working locations, and 76% of them said they have used flexible working locations for caregiving duties.

  • Paid leave and financial assistance are highly valued benefit:



    • Of the 78% of caregivers who said their employers offer paid leave specifically for caregiving-and the 60% of those who said they have used the benefit-97% said they found it helpful.

    • Of the 69% of caregivers who said their employers offer financial assistance for caregiving expenses-and the 55% of those who said they have used the benefit-96% said they found it helpful.


  • Concerns about privacy/confidentiality (cited by 24% of caregivers) and lack of awareness of what resources their employers offer (cited by 20% of caregivers) are the biggest barriers for utilization of workplace benefits for caregiving.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS

"Employees with caregiver responsibilities, in addition to full-time employment, are a growing group of Americans with unique challenges and needs that employers must address," said Peggy Neale, a caregiver and guardian for an adult relative with Down syndrome and a Securian Financial employer relationship management director. "Employer compassion is as important as providing benefits. In addition to providing flexibility for caregivers to meet their needs-both personal and professional-understanding and empathy are crucial for caregivers to feel their employer truly supports them."

To support caregivers in the workplace, employers should:

Demonstrate trust and empathy

  • Accommodate schedule and location flexibility to support caregivers' personal and professional well-being.
  • Prioritize caregiver understanding and compassion within HR teams.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to anonymously ask questions and receive answers about caregiving issues and benefits.

Expand benefit education

  • Offer periodic work-time sessions targeted to caregivers that explain benefits and offer one-on-one follow-up opportunities.
  • Provide in-depth knowledge on how benefit features might help, such as mental wellness or dependent parent features attached to their critical illness or hospital indemnity insurance.
  • Develop company intranet content specific to caregiving needs and benefits.
  • Leverage benefit providers for HR team training to build knowledge and position them to provide meaningful assistance.

Validate confidentiality and job security

  • Regularly reinforce to employees that using benefits is private, and there is no penalty for using them.
  • Periodically affirm that employee information is anonymous and safeguarded.

Establish/emphasize existing employee resource groups for caregivers

  • Provide a safe space for caregivers to feel seen and learn from others' experiences.
  • Empower caregivers to review benefits, spread awareness, promote utilization and share enhancement suggestions with HR.

A GROWING CHALLENGE

Caregiving is growing rapidly, deepening the need for support in and out of the workplace. More than one in five-21%-of U.S. adults are currently serving as an unpaid caregiver for another person. Caregivers who live with their care recipient spend an average of 37.4 hours per week providing care, with caregivers who do not live with their care recipient spending an average of 23.7 hours per week providing care.3

The trend will intensify with a boom in Baby Boomer care in the years to come. By 2040, all Baby Boomers will be age 75 or older, leading to a substantial increase in caregiving shouldered by a sandwich generation-the adult children of these Boomers (older Millennials and younger Generation X) who will be "sandwiched" between providing care for their own children and their parents.4

ABOUT SECURIAN FINANCIAL

To be confident in your financial future, you need to trust the strength and commitment of the companies you choose to work with. For more than 140 years, the Securian Financial family of companies has been developing innovative insurance and retirement solutions to meet the evolving needs of individuals, families and businesses. Offered through partnerships with employers, financial professionals and affinity groups, our products help bring peace of mind to more than 23 million customers throughout the United States and Canada. We are trusted by our partners and customers to fulfill our purpose of helping to build secure tomorrows. For more information about Securian Financial, visit securian.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

1. Survey conducted November 3-17, 2023.

2. Full list of support types qualifying one as a caregiver for this survey: emotional support; mental health support/advocate; financial support; managing bills/claims/insurance; household chores and/or meals (cleaning, home projects, cooking, etc.); personal care and hygiene; providing living accommodations; shopping/other errands; transportation to/from appointments, errands, activities, etc.; attending appointments with care recipient; scheduling appointments; picking up medications.

3. A Place for Mom, "Caregiver Statistics: A Data Portrait of Family Caregiving in 2023" (compilation of statistics), June 15, 2023.

4. SOA (Society of Actuaries) Research Institute, "Informal Caregiving: Measuring the cost and reducing the burden," April 2023.

Securian Financial is the marketing name for Securian Financial Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries. Insurance products are issued by its subsidiary insurance companies, including Minnesota Life Insurance Company and Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer.

DOFU 4-2024
3455392


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