Caregivers may feel like they are always on the job, but they know the extra obligations and duties impact their performance in the workplace. A Gallup poll released in July found that 17 percent of American workers, across all socioeconomic and demographic groups, are caregivers. And a majority of them said caregiving has had at least some impact at work.
On average, caregivers miss 6.6 days of work to deal with their other responsibilities. With 17 percent of the working population acting as caregiver, the amounts to 126 million missed workdays a year. This costs the U.S. economy an estimated $25.6 billion in lost productivity.
Gallup discovered that nearly one-third of all working caregivers are in a professional occupation,with 12 percent in service jobs and another 12 percent in management.
About 71 percent of the caregivers said they told their employer about their situation, although the rest did not.
About 25 percent of the group said they had access to workplace support programs. This is not surprising under current economic conditions, yet the support groups, financial/legal advice and assisted living counselors evidently do help a great deal.
As the population ages, the number of caregivers will grow significantly. Evidently the folks who are doing a lot of work for a loved one for free are not only paying a huge cost ... they are costing the economy as well.