Caregiver
June 30, 2021

NYSOFA and Partners Team Up to Support Working Caregivers

NYSOFA and Partners Team Up to Support Working Caregivers
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The New York State Office for the Aging, the New York State Department of Labor, and the New York State Department of Health Join with Businesses to Better Understand and Support Working Caregivers

2006 MetLife caregiving cost study estimated an annual $33.6 billion loss in productivity associated with full-time employees who were also caring for a loved one - today, the annual cost is estimated to exceed $50 billion

Statewide Working Caregiver Survey launched, collecting data on the number of working caregivers and tasks they perform

Partnership with ARCHANGELS provides the “Caregiver Intensity Index” to Working Caregivers to Engage Caregivers, Assess the Intensity of Their Experience and Connect Them to Resources

A new state publication, the Resource Guide for Businesses, aims to identify working caregivers and link them to community services

The New York State Office for the Aging, the New York State Department of Labor, and the New York State Department of Health today announced the launching of a public-private partnership to survey businesses and their employees. The state is encouraging employers to ask employees to complete the survey. This will help identify the number of employees who are caregiving for a loved one and to assess working caregiver intensity and connect them to supports and information. 

It is critical to understand the daily tasks working caregivers are performing and how those tasks impact their work and health. Survey results will be shared with business leaders and their human resource departments, policy makers, and operators of caregiver programs. The goal is to raise awareness about working caregivers, the services available, and help them connect to these supports while measuring their caregiving experience. In addition, it is envisioned that this will also help caregivers navigate potential challenges they face in balancing their work and family lives.

A "caregiver" is defined as a family, friend, or neighbor who helps an individual with their daily living. There are an estimated 4.1 million caregivers in New York State who provide 2.68 billion hours of unpaid care. If paid for at market rate, the cost of that care would be $32 billion annually.

In the U.S. today, one in six employees spends on average more than 20 hours a week providing care for a loved one. Caregiving costs U.S. businesses an estimated $50 billion a year in lost productivity.

A June 18, 2021 study conducted by the US Department of health and Human Services/Centers for Chronic Disease Control and prevention found that:

70% of parents and/or caregivers reported adverse mental health symptom

55% reported anxiety or depression

54% reported COVID-19-induced stress and trauma

32% reported passive or serious suicidal thoughts

As assessed by the ARCHANGELS Caregiver Intensity IndexTM, drivers of Caregiver Intensity increased odds of adverse mental health symptoms:

Caregiving related family disagreements (3x odds)

Resentment about caregiving responsibilities (3x odds)

Feeling underprepared as a caregiver (2x odds)

Not having as much personal freedom as desired (2x odds)

Having had to cut down on expenses due to caregiving (2x odds)
 

Among those caring for people under 18 and over 18 (sandwich caregivers):

52% reported serious suicidal thoughts or 12 times the rate of nonparents/noncaregivers

58% reported passive suicidal thoughts, or six times the rate of nonparents/noncaregivers

 

New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, “Tasks associated with caring for a loved one are not limited to off-hours. These responsibilities affect the workplace, in terms of workplace productivity, turnover, absenteeism, and increased health care costs. It is important to help public and private sector businesses recognize that many employees have caregiving responsibilities, and many caregivers traditionally don't self-identify as such. Additionally, it is mission-critical to educate businesses and caregivers about available services to help support employers, employees, and the individuals being cared for. We are thrilled to be a part of this historic partnership."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Balancing a career while caring for a loved one can be overwhelming. From the home to the workplace, the role of a caregiver is unparalleled. They are often the anchor for others. I am thrilled to partner with the Office for the Aging and the Department of Health to find innovative ways to proactively address the challenges they face on a daily basis, and connect them with tangible resources to help support them in caring for themselves and their loved ones.”

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “Behind nearly every individual receiving care there is likely a person who is providing that important responsibility while also balancing a career and a family at home. Better understanding these challenges will also help us understand how we can provide support for caregivers across New York State and therefore for their loved ones as well.”

AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel said, “Family caregivers are the backbone of our long-term care system, and AARP New York applauds the Cuomo administration for this important effort to balance the caregiving responsibilities of working New Yorkers with the demands of their jobs. We are especially pleased that the State will help employers direct working family caregivers to available supports in the community, while also focusing on the critical need for family caregivers to care for themselves as well as their loved ones.”

Association on Aging in New York State Executive Director Becky Preve said, “The Association on Aging in New York is pleased to coordinate on this extremely important initiative to collect valuable information on caregiving. The public-private partnership will allow New York State to evaluate the breadth of caregiving across generations and employment. This data will allow New York State to continue to lead the nation in caregiving supports and services, and support and educate the employment community.”

New York State Association of Counties Executive Director Steve Acquario said, “County offices for the aging work every day to provide caregivers with the information and assistance they need to ensure their loved ones receive a high level of care without the need for costlier, publicly-financed alternatives. Counties commend Acting Director Olsen and Commissioner Reardon for their efforts to collaborate with the business community to further bolster these efforts and help ensure that those who are giving care are also receiving the support they need.”

New York State Respite and Caregiver Coalition Director Doris Green said, “I’m pleased to partner with NYSOFA, NYSDOL, and NYSDOH, along with the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, to share the Workplace Survey. We believe that the information gathered will help us to better understand and support the thousands of caregivers in New York who juggle the challenges of work and providing care for loved ones."

ARCHANGELS Co-Founder and CEO Alexandra Drane said,
“Caregiving intensity is real, and it can be measured. As of COVID, look no further than the 56% of unpaid caregivers with clinically significant anxiety or depression, the 36% of caregivers increasing their use of substances to cope (5x the rate of non-caregivers), and the close to one in three caregivers who have contemplated suicide. Measuring caregiver intensity kicks off a process of self-awareness that is critical – especially given 50% of caregivers don’t even see themselves in the role – they’re ‘just a son’, ‘just a wife’, ‘just a neighbor who cares.’ This is not about needing to build more resources to support these incredible humans…it’s about creating the awareness that then let’s them connect to these amazing resources that often already exist. We love you New York for taking this step and can’t wait to do our part.’

About the New York State Office for the Aging
The mission of the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) is to help older New Yorkers be as independent as possible for as long as possible through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs, and services that support and empower older adults and their families, in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them. Stay connected to the New York State Office for the Aging—download the NYSOFA mobile app for iOS or Android; visit the NYSOFA Facebook page; follow @NYSAGING on Twitter; or visit www.aging.ny.gov.

About the New York State Department of Labor
The mission of the New York State Department of Labor is to transform New York’s world of work. We empower and protect New York’s workforce by administering unemployment insurance to those out of a job and looking for work, ensuring minimum wage and other labor laws are being followed, and educating all workers about their rights. We build and support businesses by helping them recruit workers, manage their workforce, develop apprenticeship programs, and find tax credits and hiring incentives. We help workers find the career they love by providing free services such a job placement, resume and cover letter writing assistance, interview preparation and referrals for on -the-job training for those looking to find a job, change careers or advance in a current career.

 

About the New York State Department of Health
The mission of the New York State Department of Health is to protect, improve and promote the health, productivity and well-being of all New Yorkers.  Our vision is for   New Yorkers to be the healthiest people in the world, by creating communities that promote health and are protected from health threats, and by having access to quality, evidence-based and cost-effective health services.

About the Association on Aging in New York
The Association on Aging in New York supports and advocates for New York’s mostly county-based Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and works collaboratively with a network of organizations that exist to promote independence, preserve dignity, and provide support for residents of New York State as they age. For more information, follow us on Facebook, visit www.agingny.org or call 518-449-7080.

About ARCHANGELS
ARCHANGELS is a national movement and a platform that is reframing how caregivers are seen, honored, and supported using a combination of data and stories. We believe shining a light on caregivers so they feel seen, honored, and supported is the first line of care. Our Caregiver Intensity Index (CII) is designed to engage all caregivers, even those who do not see themselves in that role.  The platform provides each caregiver with a ‘score’ that not only validates their experience, but crosswalks them over to the resources that exist but often go underutilized due to lack of awareness. ARCHANGELS provides communities (including states, employers, healthcare providers, and payers) with an omni-channel data-driven engagement approach that changes caregiver’s lives (as well as top and bottom lines) for the better. Connect with ARCHANGELS at archangels.me.

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Contact us by phone:
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Roger Noyes
NYSOFA Public Information Officer
New York State Office for the Aging
2 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12233