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AARP South Carolina Caregiving in the Workplace Survey

As parents and loved ones grow older, many employees find themselves in the role of caregiver to their aging family members which may necessitate occasional absenteeism, early departures from work, late arrival to work, personal phone calls, and emotional distraction. In 2004, there were an estimated 416,214 caregivers in South Carolina who devoted 446 million hours to caregiving. The annual market value of this informal, unpaid caregiving is $4.4 million.

This AARP survey of companies in South Carolina with at least one employee assesses what resources are available to employees caring for older relatives.

Of those companies surveyed...

  • 64 percent say their employees have provided care or assistance to older persons in the last two years
  • 97 percent offer employee benefits such as vacation leave while 38 percent offer an Employee Assistance Program
  • 52 percent have had employees ask for time off for caregiving while 34 percent say employees have requested time off under the Family Medical Leave Act
  • 34 percent consider covering the employee’s time as the biggest barrier to implementing caregiving programs or services
  • 56 percent say caregiving has an effect on employee performance

Among the most common services or programs offered to caregivers are funeral or bereavement leave (71%), job security (34%), and flexible work schedules (34%), but 20 percent of respondents report offering no programs or services for caregivers.

Further information about this mail survey of 587 South Carolina businesses, conducted from September 20th to October 24th, 2006, may be obtained by contacting the report’s author, Erica Dinger of AARP Knowledge Management, at 202-434-6176. (30 pages)

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