November is National Family Caregivers Month

The number of caregivers in our country is accelerating—with 43.5 million Americans having provided unpaid care to an adult or child in the last 12 months.1 And, that number is expected to grow dramatically as an aging population continues to drive the need for elder care to unprecedented levels.

The trend is so significant, in fact, that every U.S. President over the past two decades has issued an annual proclamation to recognize and honor family caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month in November. This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock,” which is aimed at raising awareness of the constant demands of caregiving and how they can conflict with other important areas of life.

One of the key areas impacted is the workplace. With more than 1 in 6 working Americans also juggling caregiving responsibilities,2 virtually every company is faced with the challenge of how to help employees balance their professional, personal and caregiving roles while maintaining business productivity. Caregivers report missing an average of 12 hours per month of work because of their caregiving responsibilities,3 while 70% of working caregivers admitted that they suffered work-related difficulties because of the daunting responsibility of these roles.2 Additionally, working caregivers often experience stress, anxiety, loneliness, isolation, decline in their own physical health, deterioration of family and social relationships, and a strain on their present and future financial resources.

National Family Caregivers Month represents an opportunity to renew our focus on supporting working caregivers. Our latest report, The New Employer Opportunity: Strategies to Support Working Caregivers, can help spark ideas and offers a series of next steps that employers can take to engage and support their working caregivers.

Key takeaways

Consider providing access to elder care support and resources, such as counselors or other professionals who can make referrals and give advice about assisted living or nursing homes.

Educate and train supervisors and managers to equip them to better support employees who are also caregivers.

Promote educational resources to employees. Visit Employee Financial Education Resources > Financial Wellness > Topic Bundles > Caregiving to see our suite of caregiving resources for employees.

You may already offer programs and benefits that can help employees who are caregivers, such as an employee assistance program or referral services for finding professional caregivers to help when the employee is unable. Many employees, however, aren’t aware these programs are available, so it’s important to continuously share information about them in company newsletters, emails and meetings.

1 National Center on Caregiving Family Caregiver Alliance. Caregiver Statistics: Demographics. April 2019.

2 National Center on Caregiving Family Caregiver Alliance. Caregiver Statistics: Demographics. 2016.

3 2019 Bank of America Workplace Benefits Report.