Informal Caregiver Hours On The Rise, Highlighting Need For Home Care, Respite Services

Home Health Care News | By Joyce Famakinwa

More individuals are having to take on what’s known as the second or third shift — caregiving duties in addition to being employed.
At the same time, there has been an increase in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offering home-based care, including respite services, coinciding with this rise of informal caregivers.
For context, informal caregivers are spouses, partners, friends or family members who assist with activities of daily living (ADLs) and possibly even medical tasks, according to San Francisco-based nonprofit Family Caregiver Alliance.
A new survey from Homethrive found that there has been a 151% increase in the number of employees spending more than 9 work hours weekly on caregiving compared to its last survey in 2021.
Homethrive’s survey examines how informal caregivers are balancing work life and their additional caregiving responsibilities. Two hundred informal caregivers — working in a variety of industries in the U.S. — were surveyed for the report.
“Unpaid family caregivers are unsung heroes,” Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, vice president of marketing at Homethrive, said in a statement. “Our second annual ‘Employee Caregiving Survey’ reveals their workloads show no signs of letting up, and this underserved, yet growing population, is demanding help from their employers; they’re willing to leave their jobs unless they get it.”
The survey also found that there’s been a 79% increase in the number of employees spending more than five hours weekly on caregiving compared to last year.
The types of caregiving responsibilities that the survey respondents were taking on included grocery shopping, driving to doctor’s appointments or other services, housekeeping tasks, arranging or preparing meals and assisting with medications.
Additionally, more than a third of respondents either left work early, missed work days or had to change their work schedule to accommodate their caregiving duties.
Over half of respondents said they are concerned about the negative impact caregiving will have on their job performance.
In addition to those findings, surveyed individuals also expressed an interest in switching jobs if it would give them access to caregiving-coordination benefits, as two-thirds of respondents said they currently don’t have access to a caregiving support benefit.
Home care operators should view the Homethrive survey results as another proof point for their services. Professional caregivers can help family members care for loved ones and focus on their careers.

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