UM Working Caregivers Project

UM Working Caregivers Project

As the nation’s population ages, more and more workers will need to take on elder care responsibilities. Unpaid caregivers will likely continue to be the largest source of long-term care service in the United States in the future. In order to remain competitive in today’s precarious economic market, business and industry will need to develop strategies to aid the caregiver In fact, a recent report by AARP (2007), that discusses the new demographics of the workforce, emphasizes the need for organizations to adopt policies and programs such as work flexibility and increased opportunities for employees to work from home to retain and attract workers aged 45+ who often face caregiving demands.

The Retirement Research Foundation is supporting the Center on Aging to conduct a pilot project to develop, evaluate and refine a multi-component, psycho-social technology-based intervention program for working caregivers that is easily accessible to caregivers and can be widely implemented in a variety of work organizations. The intervention program combines components from interventions developed in our previous research and addresses the cognitive, emotional, social aspects of caregiving. The intervention will be tailored to meet the needs of employers and working caregivers and will be enhanced by innovative video/computer and telephone technology. The intervention also utilizes technologies in the workplace that are common place in today’s work environment, computers and the telephone. The overall aims of the intervention program are to improve the health and well-being of caregivers and the ability of caregivers to balance employment and work responsibilities. A unique aspect of this project will be the ability to assess the impact of the intervention on caregiver health, healthcare utilization, and measures related to work performance.

We have currently finished recruitment for this project and are collecting and analyzing the data obtained.