Videos and Resources on Issues Related to Work and Eldercare

Short videos addressing “employed caregiving” tackle issues related to care given to elderly family members by persons who are also employed.  The primary objective of these videos is to help employers create work environments that are supportive of families and households simultaneously engaged in work and elder care.

The video titles will link you to a YouTube video. For closed captioning, click the “cc” button when the video begins.

Topical resources via link after each video description.

Employees and Caregiving: An Overview (Length: 5:42)
Approximately 44 million people in the U.S. are family caregivers providing about $37 billion hours of unpaid care and assistance to family, friends and neighbors over the age of 50. Many of these caregivers work full-time outside the home.  The combined demands of work and family caregiving pose serious consequences for employees, who risk loss of income, emotional and physical health; and employers, who risk losing billions of dollars each year due to lost productivity.  Claire Culbertson, a family caregiver support specialist, defines family caregiving, its effect on American business and the importance of employers providing support to their employees with caregiver responsibility. Overview of Balancing Work and Eldercare

Impacts of Caregiving on Workplace Performance (Length: 4:36)
Replacing employees, employee exhaustion, inability to focus, workplace disruptions and unpaid leave are just some of factors that contribute to the nearly $34 billion dollar loss in annual productivity to American business due to employee caregiving. Employed caregivers Jean Mueller, Diane Brinson and Kara Sandley tell their stories of how caregiving affected their workplace performance. Impacts on Performance

Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout (Length: 5:43)
Prolonged, intense caregiving can lead to depression, chronic insomnia and other serious physical and emotional disorders. Three employed caregivers—Jean Mueller, Carol Amos, and Pam Bracey—discuss how their caregiving experiences affected their physical and emotional well-being. Caregiver Burnout

Examples of Workplace Supports for Employed Caregivers (Length: 4:05)
According to the 2012 National Study of Employers, employees in more effective and flexible workplaces are more likely than other employees to have greater job satisfaction, better mental health, and more effectively balance the pressures of work and caregiving.  What kinds of support can employers provide for their employees to keep them healthy and productive? Kara Sandley, a DOT employee and Diane Brinson, a DNR employee explain what their employers provided for them. Claire Culbertson, a family caregiver support specialist, discusses the employer’s role in providing workplace support. Workplace-based Support

The Employed Family Caregiver Survey: A Tool for Employers (developed by UW Extension Family Living Programs) (Length: 5:37)
Without knowing the depth of their employees’ caregiving responsibilities, employers can’t develop strategies to support them. UW-Extension Family Living Educators Faye Malek and Teri Halvorsen discuss an effective and easy-to-use survey tool that measures employee involvement in family caregiving, and the important information employers can gather from it. Employed Caregiver Survey

Employers Benefit from Supporting Employed Caregivers (Length: 8:19)
Employees are expected to maintain job productivity regardless of their lives outside the workplace. But the combined demands of work and caregiving can be overwhelming. Are employers responsible for providing assistance to their employees to ease their stress? Zach Penshorn, HR manager for M3 Insurance; Sue Hunter, Employee Assistance Program manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation; and Jeff Carroll, the Employee Assistance Program manager for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources describe the variety of supports they provide their employees and why it’s mutually beneficial to do so. Benefits to Employers

Diversity in Caregiving: African American Caregivers (Length: 3:12)
There are significant differences in the way people in other cultures take care of their elders. African American families generally will not place their family in long-term care facilities. Pam Bracey, the African American Program Specialist for the North/Eastside Senior Coalition in Madison, Wisconsin, and herself a family caregiver, talks about these differences. Caregiver Diversity

Diversity in Caregiving: LGBT Caregivers (Length: 6:05)
Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender individuals experience widespread societal discrimination.  Fearing negative repercussions of disclosing their sexual identity to employers and health care professionals, LGBT community members prefer to seek help and support from their own “chosen” families. Caroline Werner, a social worker and LGBT advocate, discusses how these tight-knit families care for each other and ways employers can be supportive. Caregiver Diversity

Supporting Caregivers Working in Non-Profit Organizations (Length: 3:54)
Non-profit organizations generally do not have the financial resources to offer employee assistance programs to their employees or volunteers. According to Cheryl Batterman, executive director of a nationally-accredited senior center, non-profits benefit by providing their employees a variety of informal supports resulting in reduced turn-over and maintaining high productivity and morale. Support in Nonprofits


Professor Clifton Barber, Associate Dean for Outreach and Extension in the School of Human Ecology on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, received funding from the Meta Schroeder Beckner Endowment to developteh videos which were produced with the help of a consultant, Diane Walder, and an advisory board (Claire Culbertson, Teri Zuege-Halvorsen, Sue Hunter, Marilyn Lawler, Jean Mueller, Jane Jensen, Barb Robinson, and Karen Ehle-Traastad).  Video topics and content were the result of focus group sessions held with both employees and employers in 2010 and 2011.  Appreciation is expressed to those who participated in these focus groups, and to the employees and employers who consented to be videotaped.