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Survey: Working Caregivers Want Time

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Analysts at the Working Mother Research Institute would love more money but are desperate for more time.

When the analysts at the institute, an arm of Working Mother Media, New York, asked women what kind of help they’d like from their employers, 81% rated the flexibility to take time off during work as important or very important, and that wish ranked first in terms of importance. A similar wish — that employers would let the caregivers change their work schedules — ranked fourth, with a 71% importance rating.

Paid time off came in second, with a 76% importance rating, and information resources came in third, with a 72% importance rating

Analysts at the institute based the report on results from a survey of 2,479 U.S. women, including 1,274 who have never been caregivers and 1,204 who either are now or have been caregivers.

When the analysts asked caregivers about the effects of caregiving on work, 48% agreed with the statement that, “I find it difficult to manage the demands of my work life and personal life.” For current caregivers, that statement was the one that generated the highest rate of agreement.

“I have passed up a more demanding job or promotion” ranked second, with a 39% agreement percentage.

About 25% of the current caregivers said they have long-term care insurance (LTCI), and 23% of the former caregivers said they have LTCI coverage.

More caregivers seem to be using their own income to handle caregiving expenses. The percentage has risen to 44% for current caregivers, up from 23% for former caregivers. The mean expense is abut $2,600 per year.

Caregivers have been getting some attention in Washington.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has reintroduced a bill that would provide a tax credit for caregivers.

The Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services recently completed work on a National Plan for responding to Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia, and much of the plan focuses on strategies for helping caregivers.

But the experts note that helping caregivers is difficult, even under the best of circumsntaces: The medical director of the long-term care insurance business at Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va. (NYSE:GNW), reported at a press conference in New York in February that even he and his brothers have faced difficulties at times when looking after their own aging parents.


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