As the population of the United States ages, the costs associated with caring for the elderly are set to skyrocket. This includes systemic costs, but also extends to individual households. Unfortunately, for the average employee living paycheck-to-paycheck, the expenses of elder care or funeral and related costs are significant. These additional but necessary expenses can put many people in a dangerous financial situation.
The rising costs of healthcare can mean that seniors often require more medication than is covered by their insurance companies. Worse, seniors are at higher risk for requiring expensive, long-term medical care for chronic conditions. And in the unfortunate scenario where a death in the family occurs, funeral expenses can easily cost thousands of dollars.
How does this affect your company? More and more employees are taking on the added responsibilities of caring for aging parents, both in a physical and a financial sense. In many cases, these same employees are still raising children, meaning they already bear the burden of the costs associated with raising a family. An unexpected illness or death could push an employee into dangerous financial ground. This can also cost them time away from work to care for a loved one or attend to other obligations. When the affected employee returns to work, there is often a loss in workplace productivity due to stress, fatigue, or distraction.
An employee personal hardship grant fund can help relieve some of that stress, helping employees through a difficult time. In turn, employees will be better able to manage those responsibilities, taking less time off work to deal with these issues, and being more productive when present. In most cases, personal hardship is temporary, and with a little help, employees move past the hardship and back into their regular role more committed than ever.