Employee Demand for Adult Backup Care Leaps Over 200 Percent, Reports LifeCare

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Shifts in short-term adult backup care is usually a warning sign of long-term care needs, yet most caregivers avoid the problem until crisis strikes—which can result in costly employee absenteeism and productivity loss.

LifeCare, Inc. reports that requests for adult backup care increased 218 percent between the first quarter of 2010 and the same period in 2011—easily outpacing the acceleration rate of backup child care.

Backup care is temporary care provided when regular care arrangements are disrupted or care needs change suddenly.  Though backup care has largely been considered a child care issue—clearly, employers must now also consider the needs of the growing number of employees in the workplace who care for older loved ones.

Employers should be acutely aware of this growing trend, according to LifeCare, the leading provider of productivity and loyalty solutions, because adult care issues can contribute to unwanted absenteeism, employee stress and lost productivity—a costly proposition for today's companies. Even the best caregiving arrangements will inevitably break down on occasion, causing caregivers in the workplace to find reliable adult care at the last minute or miss work altogether.

Companies such as LifeCare offer employer-subsidized programs that arrange for temporary caregivers to provide care—and employees only pay a small co-pay typically of $10 per day. While this is a great solution for temporary care, it also indicates that employees who are caregivers need to proactively plan for the future.

"A backup care request for an older adult is usually an early warning sign of a more critical issue coming down the road, one that will require a long-term care solution either from in-home caregivers or from a licensed caregiving facility," said Peter G. Burki, chief executive officer of LifeCare, Inc. "We're projecting that these steep inclines in adult care requests will only continue as more and more baby boomers are faced with the care of older loved ones. When members contact us about adult care issues, our specialists educate members to think not just about immediate care needs, but also about the future care of their loved ones."

"People are often in denial about the fact that their parents are getting older and unable to take care of themselves," explains Peggy Altherr, senior vice president of business development and backup care. "It's difficult for them to think about putting them in a long-term care facility and too often caregivers wait until something drastic happens when they are then  forced to make a significant caregiving decision under extreme pressure. Unfortunately when that occurs, both employees and employers feel the impact."

Burki urges employers to use an integrated approach to care—by offering work-life services combined with a comprehensive employer-subsidized backup care program. In this way, members can seamlessly get help for emergency needs while arranging support for longer term caregiving situations—as well as related issues such as financial, health and legal issues. 

"Employers who proactively support their employees with adult care issues will benefit from decreased absenteeism, increased productivity and improved employer loyalty," states Burki. "When employees receive help with their most important life needs, such as caring for children and older parents, everyone wins."

About LifeCare®, Inc.
LifeCare®, Inc. is the global leader in personal productivity and loyalty solutions, serving nearly 3,000 public and private sector employers and over 33 million members worldwide. LifeCare improves employee productivity and loyalty by matching members with high-quality solutions and service providers and providing access to LifeMart(SM), a leading members-only, employer-sponsored online discount shopping destination. LifeCare's proven solutions help employers improve absenteeism, presenteeism and job satisfaction while helping members meet life's most important needs. For more information, visit http://www.lifecare.com.

Media Contacts:
Chris Burki
LifeCare, Inc.
203-291-3501
CBurki(at)lifecare(dot)com

Elrond Lawrence
Fisher Vista for LifeCare
831-632-2183
elawrence(at)fishervista(dot)com

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Chris Burki
LifeCare
203-291-3501
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