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Transamerica Institute® invited to White House Conference on Aging

USA, July 14, 2015

On July 13, the Transamerica Institute was represented at the White House Conference on Aging by its president, Catherine Collinson.

The White House Conference on Aging brought together members of the public, government officials, and business and community leaders to examine the 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.

An introduction to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging
 

President Barack Obama commented, "One of the best measures of a country is how it treats its older citizens. And by that measure, the United States has a lot to be proud of... We have to work to do more to ensure that every older American has the resources and the support that they need to thrive."

An estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States provide unpaid care...

 

Today, an estimated 43.5 million adults in the United States 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."

Research into the impact of unpaid caregiving

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.

 


1 National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, Caregiving in the U.S., June 2015

Written by: Aegon