Sloan Center News
How Providing Eldercare Affects Your Job Security
17 April 2009—Director Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes quoted by Emily Brandon in U.S. News & World Report (see expcerpt below, or read the blog here »)
Employees providing eldercare say they have significantly less access to the flexible work options needed to fulfill their work and personal needs, compared to employees caring for a child under age 18 and workers not providing dependent care, according to a survey of more than 2,200 employees ages 17 to 81 by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. That’s because many flexible schedules were designed with the parents of young children in mind, according to Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, the study principal and head of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work. “Many of those polices were developed in the late 80s and 90s in reaction to the increase in the number of women, particularly women with young children, in the workforce.” Eldercare doesn’t always conveniently fit into the same mold.
Employees providing eldercare also perceived significantly lower job security compared to workers with children, the Sloan study found. “People who are caring for children, with the exception of people with special need kids, you can kind of anticipate over time what their needs will be at age 2 or 4 or 7. With eldercare it’s more unpredictable,” says Pitt-Catsouphes. “After eldercare begins it may plateau, but it is often the case that there are these episodes that happen with eldercare and it does become more challenging and more demanding. It is less likely that it will be easier over time.”