AARP Iowa is working with employers to help them understand and support employees who also serve as unpaid family caregivers. The goal is to identify resources that can help not only caregivers but employers, as well.
Six out of 10 caregivers are employed, and many also spend 20 to 40 hours per week on caregiving tasks. Their dual roles can adversely affect business if the burden leads to greater absenteeism, diminished productivity, declining morale and requests to reduce work hours.
AARP is piloting a program to connect employers with advisers who have been working caregivers themselves. The advisers suggest ways to help caregivers stay on the job without feeling overwhelmed. For example, employers can refer workers to local resources for help with transportation, meal preparation, medical care and other caregiving chores.
AARP Iowa is also recruiting volunteers to speak with business owners and executives about caregivers’ needs and caregiving resources. To get involved, email Connie Eastman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 866-554-5378 toll-free.