Elder Care Becomes Employer Issue

By Porter, Sylvia | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 5, 1989 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Elder Care Becomes Employer Issue


The care of children during hours when their parents are working has received much publicity. But a similar issue has been quietly gaining the attention of employers, employees and policy-makers. That issue is "elder care.''

"The research indicates that about one-fourth of the work force is involved in providing care for an older relative or friend,'' said Mark Zitter. His company, The Zitter Group, does research into the economic effects of an aging population.

"Three-fourths of those say it has a negative impact on their work. Ten to 15 percent have had to take extended leave or had to leave the workforce entirely to provide care for an elder person. Typically, a worker loses 35 hours of work per year looking after an older friend or relative.''

This has led employers to look for ways to provide elder-care assistance as an employee benefit.

"They've quickly realized that this has a significant impact on productivity and absenteeism, '' Zitter said. "It's to the advantage of companies to help find a solution.''

Others who specialize in employee benefits agree.

"It's a fairly new area, so the solutions are still being developed,'' commented Marilyn Woodrow of Coopers and Lybrand. "It's a huge issue. The most important matter right now is understanding it from an actuarial standpoint - putting a price tag on it.''

So far, elder care as an employee benefit can take any of several forms. A leading national footwear company, for instance, is building an inter-generational daycare center, where dependents of all ages can spend the day while the breadwinner is on the job.

In a number of communities, school buildings that were constructed to educate the baby-boom generation are now being converted to broad-ranging senior centers, providing both recreational and health services.

Companies, too, are developing long-term care insurance programs that are available to employees who want to insure parents and other close relatives. This can be done either in a stand-alone policy or as part of a more general "caregiver account.''

A less elaborate but still effective way companies are facing elder care is through flexible working hours and other forms of more fluid scheduling.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Elder Care Becomes Employer Issue


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?