Point of View

Point of View on Caregiving

Jul 9, 2024 5  pages


The issue of family caregiving has risen to the top of the domestic policy agenda with the introduction of the 2022 National Strategy to Support Family Caregivers. To help achieve this national strategy, the Administration of Community Living funded a grant to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) with the goal to “expand data, research, and evidence-based practices to support family caregivers.” Starting in 2024, the Employee Benefit Research Institute is serving on the NAC’s CARE Network Steering Committee as part of this cooperative agreement.

This four-year commitment arrives after a substantial effort by EBRI to focus on the financial and workplace needs of family caregivers. One such example of EBRI’s caregiving efforts was an intimate roundtable held last fall by EBRI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council. The session featured special guests Rita B. Choula from AARP and Christina Matz from Boston College, focusing on caregiving and its impact on employees, with speakers presenting data on the economic value of unpaid care and the challenges faced by diverse caregivers. The importance of supporting caregivers was emphasized, particularly through implementing policies supporting family caregivers, including recognition of family of choice for LGBTQ caregivers and the need for paid leave.

The roundtable discussed the challenges faced by older adults in the new world of work, including the mental health crisis, lack of support for caregiving and other forms of care work, and the impact of structural inequities. The speakers emphasized the need to focus on social determinants of health and respond to the changing work landscape.

After the guest presentations, the roundtable focused on the support provided by employers to caregivers, with the council highlighting the challenges faced by employees who are also caregivers and the need for employers to recognize and support them. The importance of education and financial planning assistance for caregivers was emphasized, as well as the need for employers to communicate and make relevant caregiving support programs available to their employees, taking into account the intersectionality of different identities that may impact their caregiving responsibilities.

Concluding the roundtable was a policy discussion, with guest speakers advocating for paid family leave and a caregiver tax credit, along with a review of executive orders that support family caregivers. The importance of policies preventing discrimination against caregivers was also highlighted, as well as the need for policies addressing the paid caregiver work force to provide respite care options for unpaid family caregivers. The group emphasized the importance of education and seeking legal advice when necessary to ensure compliance with policies and the law.

We thank the members of the DEI Council: Aon, Bank of America, Capital Group, Custodia Financial, Fidelity, FRTIB, Morgan Stanley, NEFE, TIAA, Vanguard, Voya, WEX Inc., and WTW and guest contributors Rita B. Choula and Christine Matz.