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Role Reversal: Kids Scrambling To Find Care For Mom And Dad

WATERTOWN, Mass., March 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent study of more than 5,000 U.S. workers, mid-career employees have become increasingly dependent on employer-sponsored back-up elder care programs.  This increase in demand for elder care mirrors the increase in the number of people providing care to an aging relative – more than 40 million people had responsibility for an elder's care in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The Lasting Impact of Employer-Sponsored Back-up Care, a study conducted by Horizons Workforce Consulting and Russell Matthews, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University, confirms that working men and women ages 40 to 60 are embracing elder care supports in order to focus and remain productive at work while feeling confident that their aging parent – or spouse – has access to quality care.

Sandwich Generation employees, those who care for their aging parents while also supporting their own young children, are particularly impacted.  Roughly one out of every eight Americans between the ages of 40 and 60 fall into this group, according to the Pew Research Institute, and between 7 million and 10 million Americans are providing care for their aging parents from afar with little or no back-up support in the case of an emergency.

"The tensions of child care, elder care, and work make the Sandwich Generation most prone to acute caregiver stress.  Not only are they overwhelmed trying to balance their careers with the demands of parenthood but also with the responsibility of caring for their own aging parents.  When they have breakdowns in their normal support systems, it can seem near impossible to manage it all," said David Lissy, Bright Horizons Chief Executive Officer.  "Having access to quality back-up care for children and adult relatives can go a long way toward alleviating stress for these employees and reducing absenteeism and loss of productivity for their employers."  The Lasting Impact of Employer-Sponsored Back-up Care study surveyed employees who used Bright Horizons' Back-up Care Advantage Program ® within the past six months.  Of the respondents with adult/elder care responsibilities:

  • Two-thirds are providing daily living support for an adult relative.
  • Three-quarters are providing health-related supports for their aging family members.
  • Nearly 100% said that having an elder care benefit like the Back-Up Care Advantage Program has provided them with a level of comfort and increased their productivity. 
  • Nearly 70% of those surveyed who used the elder care benefit said that this benefit has allowed them to work on a day they would have otherwise missed, and, on average, having access to adult back-up care has allowed employees to work six days in the past six months that they otherwise would have missed. 

About Bright Horizons Family Solutions ®   Bright Horizons Family Solutions ®  is a leading provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education, and work/life solutions.   Bright Horizons Family Solutions ®  serves more than 850 clients across the U.S., the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands , Canada, and India with programs including child care and early education, back-up care, elder care, educational advisory services, and work/life consulting. The company operates more than 750 child care and early education centers worldwide.

About Russell Matthews, Ph.D. Dr. Matthews is an Assistant Professor at Bowling Green State University. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2007, and also holds graduate certificates in Occupational Health Psychology and Quantitative Research Methodology. Prior to joining the faculty at BGSU, Dr. Matthews was an Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University. Before that he worked for IBM as a part of the Global Selection and Assessment Team. Dr. Matthews primarily conducts research examining the work-family interface, the stressor-strain process, and employee well-being outcomes.

SOURCE Bright Horizons Family Solutions

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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