Last week, the Boston Globe reported on the movement across Massachusetts to accommodate family caregivers in the workplace. The challenge of juggling a full-time job and taking care of a loved one is increasingly common as more than 612,000 Massachusetts workers report doing both. Cigna New England president Mark Butler told the Globe about how his experience as a caregiver for his 89 year-old father in Vermont led him to push the issue at a recent meeting of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.
The Massachusetts Caregiver Coalition, a group comprised of stakeholders from across health care, education, and government, is working to find solutions for companies eager to better support their employees balancing the responsibilities of a family caregiver. Launched in 2019, the Coalition, which includes the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, released the Massachusetts Employer Toolkit to Support Working Caregivers. The toolkit is designed to inspire employers to invest in working caregivers and lays out actions they can take to better support their employees. The toolkit includes brief employee questionnaires, state resources, and case studies, including examples of how companies have invested in their workforce.
Prior to the creation of the toolkit, the Mass eHealth Institute conducted the first ever statewide survey of family caregivers and worked with the Colorado Health Institute to study the economic costs of caregiving.