The vast majority of working adults who also act as caregivers are taking care of aging parents and invest a significant amount of time, according to a recent three-part series of polling conducted Gallup.
The series explored what it’s like to be a caregiver in the U.S. and found that 72 percent of caregivers are caring for an aging parent and spend on average 19 days per month on caregiving tasks. More than half surveyed have been acting as a caregiver for three years.
Pfizer-ReACT/Gallup poll ultimately determined that what caregivers need most is flexibility and time:
Although surely for many caregivers their efforts are a labor of love — 72% are caring for a parent — this doesn’t mean that there aren’t negative ramifications on their own personal and work lives. Ultimately, caregivers need time. On a regular basis, they may need days off work or time during the workday to take care of their caregiving responsibilities — tasks that many would consider worthy of a full-time job. Employers’ support on this front — whether by being generally understanding, giving caregivers additional time off, or allowing for more flexible work schedules — would likely go a long way to improving caregivers’ lives.