“Aging In Place” at Home Saves $Millions$ at Work

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“A Met Life Mature Market Institute study indicates lost productivity from caregiving duties costs employers up to $33.6 billion annually.
– darts1.org

On our most recent Encore Living Radio show we interviewed Suzanne Perkins-Newman, CEO of AnswersForElders.com.  She stated that there were currently 42 million people in the U.S. spending 20+ hours per week caring for an older parent, sibling, or friend.  This is an astonishing and concerning statistic.  This started us thinking much harder about how we could provide B2B education to businesses and corporations that would help them with their bottom line, by helping their employees to better facilitate caring for a loved one in their home through educating the business’ employees.  Given the chance to present our “Aging In Place Phenomenon” presentation to a corporation’s employees, we could share the amazing opportunities that “Aging In Place” remodeling can provide for them at home (or their parent’s home), which would result in less absenteeism for family caregiver time.  This is a true win/win for both the employee and the employer, and an issue that will be explosively on the rise in the next two decades.

Then just today, we saw a post from AARP of Illinois on Twitter which states in an article titled “Face the Facts: Family Caregivers Work” that a typical employee who has to stop working to deal with caring for an elder parent will lose on average over their career a total of (averaging for two stats – one for women and one for men) $300,000.  Wow!  That could really destroy your financial security and retirement fund planning.  For a more complete fact sheet on the topic, see AARP’s Public Policy Institute Paper.

This information, coupled with the research that led us to write our first White Paper to the financial planning industry titled “There’s $500,000 hiding in your home” (sign up for our newsletter to receive a copy of this report), inspired this blog and the connections we’ve made herein.

Our 10 page white paper to Financial Planners and Retirement Asset Managers lays out the reasoning and statistics on our population and the “Silver Tsunami” of 10,000 people per day turning 65 years old starting in January 2011.  It then goes on to show the national averages for a room or unit in a CCRC’s Assisted Living or Nursing Home facility  in comparison to a $150,000 full scale “Aging In Place” home remodeling project (funded by a new mortgage or “HELOC” based on an age appropriately good FICO score and LTV “loan to value” ratio on their home’s equity) coupled with the national average cost for 20 hours of in-home professional care giving assistance.  The annual savings “gap” is approximately $32,000 saved for EACH YEAR that remodeling your home could keep you home longer!  Keeping you or your parent independent and in control of your/their life and daily decisions about routine, lifestyle, happiness, and care giving.  This is the preference of up to 89% of those polled by AARP, so why wouldn’t we make this our FIRST goal for a resolution?  We should, and we can help make your current home (or your parents) work much better as a “forever home”, extending our lives in the location the vast majority of us would prefer.

SO, now it appears there is closer to $ONE MILLION$ dollars at stake here, via educating the public (work force and business employers) on their options for “Aging In Place”.  One million dollars in combined savings for the employee who is doubling as a family caregiver, and their parent who wants to stay in their own home!  If your parent could stay independent and in their own home with a part-time professional caregiver for another, let’s say, 15 years (at $32,000/yr. average savings) then they would have saved $480,000 over that period.  And if you the adult child don’t have to quit working due to the caregiver responsibilities that mount as the faculties of your parent diminish, statistically you’d be holding onto $300,000 on average in the important latter stages of your own career where you income potential is at its highest.

Sounds like we need to keep sharing the message, and getting the word out!  Please contact us if you would like us to make this presentation to your business, employees, industry association, or civil group.  We’ve been presenting and public speaking on the topic for the last 3 years, to groups from 10 – 250+ people.  We’d be happy to come speak to your organization to share this valuable information.

Email us: info@EmpoweringTheMatureMind.com or call our direct line at (360) 440-8475, and ask for Aaron.  Thanks!

Additional information and statistics for this blog are provided with links below.

The cost to employers of employees acting as elderly caregivers include:

– Work Day Interruptions
– Caregiver Absenteeism
– Employee Retention / Turnover
– Higher Health Care Costs (due to employee stress and other issues)

Key Findings
◆ The total estimated cost to employers for full-time employees with intense caregiving responsibilities is $17.1 billion
◆ The average cost per employee for those with intense caregiving responsibilities is $2,441
◆ The total estimated cost to employers for all full-time, employed caregivers is $33.6 billion
◆ The average cost per employee for all fulltime, employed caregivers is $2,110.

Click HERE for a full report on the corporate costs of caregiver absenteeism, to visit “The MetLife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to U.S. Business”

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One thought on ““Aging In Place” at Home Saves $Millions$ at Work
  • Mike Reschke says:

    Even with todays Human Centered Design amenities the one barrier that is hard to overcome is loneliness and isolation. Think about home sharing to introduce social capital and camaraderie as well as reduce cost. Rent a bedroom or two to other older adults from the neighborhood thus building a small community that can help support each other and share services.

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