LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Transamerica Institute® congratulates the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) for convening members of the public, government officials, and business and community leaders in an insightful discussion of issues and solutions that will shape the lives of older Americans in the next decade.
"We are living in an unprecedented time in our history, a time in which our population is aging rapidly due to increases in life expectancies combined with lower birthrates. This demographic shift does not just affect the elderly; it affects everybody, our everyday lives, and our society," said Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Institute.
"Transamerica Institute enthusiastically commends the WHCOA for its ambitious agenda and, specifically, for raising awareness and creating a call to action to address the challenges faced by caregivers, their employers – and aging Americans who are in need of care," said Collinson.
Today, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States have provided unpaid care in the prior 12 months, including 34.2 million who are caring for someone age 50 and older. Sixty percent are women. Eighty-five percent are providing care for a family member or relative.1
"American workers with unpaid family caregiving responsibilities are often forced to take time off, turn down promotions, and even give up paid employment altogether," said Collinson. "Without a supportive work environment, the stress and emotional strain associated with juggling caregiving and job responsibilities can also lead to illness and lower productivity. Employers may be underestimating the critical nature of this situation and how it can negatively impact their business."
In an effort to increase understanding and raise awareness of the issues faced, Transamerica Institute will be conducting research to understand how the need for unpaid family caregiving is impacting American workers, especially women, and their employers as part of its commitment and support of the five-year research agenda of Respect a Caregiver's Time (ReACT), a coalition focusing on key areas of critical importance, including:
- The impact of caregiving on women in the workforce;
- Perspectives on caregiving from front-line managers;
- A longitudinal study of family caregivers;
- The imbalance between supply and demand of family caregivers;
- The return on investment for employers; and
- The role of government in assisting family caregivers.
"The WHCOA has created a tremendous opportunity for government agencies, employers, nonprofits, and the private sector to join together in addressing the issues related to the need for caregivers in our aging society. Working together, we can successfully address these issues, while creating new solutions that can improve the lives of all Americans," said Collinson.
Transamerica Institute® is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching and educating the public about retirement, health coverage, and other relevant financial issues facing Americans today. Transamerica Institute comprises two divisions: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® and Transamerica Center for Health Studies®. Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. For more information about the Institute, please refer to www.transamericainstitute.org
 National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, Caregiving in the U.S., June 2015
SOURCE Transamerica Institute