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Woman helping older woman walk Caregiving has shown to reduce employee work productivity by 18.5 percent and increase the likelihood of employees leaving the workplace. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As employees’ parents and family members grow older, many workers take on the role of caregiver. More than 1 in 6 Americans working full-time or part-time report assisting with the care of an elderly or disabled family member, relative or friend. Of this group, nearly half report feeling they have no choice about taking on these responsibilities. That is why many struggle in silence, choosing not to share their situation with employers out of fear for the impact on their career or a desire for privacy.

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, “family leave for seriously ill family members” is required by law, but it offers unpaid job protection and the definition of family member is restricted to spouse, child or parent. This has led to a rise in demand for elder care benefits, and there are a variety of options businesses can offer.



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