The number of people who are unpaid caregivers in our country continues to grow as there are now an estimated 50 million in the U.S.
Many employers made adjustments to help them early in the pandemic.
But now, more than two years later, caregiving advocates tell us while the awareness is still there, a majority of companies haven't made support available long-term.
“People get stuck on the big obvious one, which is a flexible hours or paid time off to provide care,” said John Schall, CEO of Caregiver Action Network. “Hugely important. No question about it. But if we just end the discussion there, we've really missed the entire opportunity for other supports that can make a big difference.”
He says support includes things like having an employee resource group for caregivers or having a website that offers employees resources to help.
“Employers really need to be able to communicate to employees just by having some of the supports in place that yes, we get it,” Schall said. “We understand it's a complex situation, and it's the modern world, because ultimately it's that kind of understanding those kinds of lifestyle benefits that are going to keep those employees working at that company.”
The Caregiver Action Network is trying to get that message out this month with the hashtag "caregiving happens,” and that caregiving is not always convenient or expected.
They're hoping awareness around this will make it easier for people to converse with their manager.