Elder Care Benefits

By Whittell

As the workforce ages and people live longer, the amount companies lose when employees miss or quit work to care for loved ones will continue to grow.

Workers who care for elderly relatives cost U.S. businesses about $34 billion annually in absenteeism, replacement costs and lost productivity, according to a survey by the National Alliance of Caregivers and the MetLife Foundation.

How Many Companies Offer Elder Care Benefits?

Companies are increasingly helping employees by adding workplace benefits similar to those that have been offered for child dependents, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But still, only about one in four companies offers any elder care benefits.

Which Companies Offer Elder Care Benefits?

Various companies throughout the United States offer benefits that help with elder care. Here is just a sampling:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Prudential Financial Inc. lets workers make a $100 co-payment and hire a geriatric-care specialist who will visit an elderly parent’s home and draw up a complete care plan, or evaluate a nursing facility, even in another state.

Publisher McGraw-Hill permits employees to enroll one other adult family member, which can be an elderly relative, on their health-insurance plan at regular family rates.

Verizon Communications Inc.’s Verizon Wireless division offers emergency in-home care, and has extended the benefit to some part-time employees.

Freddie Mac offers monthly support groups for those caring for family members and provides emergency elder home care, for which employees pay $15 a day.

At AstraZeneca, employees can get six hours a year with an expert on geriatric care who will go into a private house or nursing home.

IBM offers discounted long-term-care insurance, an ambulance at the touch of a button, and free software on using the Internet.