Today, one in every 5 workers is over 65, and by 2020 twenty percent of workers will be over 55. As the American workforce ages, employers are more aware than ever of the need to keep their workforce healthy over the long haul. The best strategy to minimize the impact of chronic disease and other health issues is to create a comprehensive culture of health in the workplace that spans a person's entire working lifetime. The habit of healthy behaviors must be encouraged early on before chronic conditions set in, while at the same time addressing the needs of older workers.
In addition to the aging workforce, employers also need to be aware of the unique stresses faced by employees who may be the primary caregiver for an older adult suffering from Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia or who otherwise are unable to care for themselves. The emotional, physical and financial toll can impact a caregiver's work performance. It's important for employers to have resources readily available for caregivers in order to fend off burnout and provide them with the support they need to maintain a healthy work/life balance.