Giving moms and dads time off to bond with a new baby or take care of a sick child are the types of leave policies that get lots of attention and—relatively speaking—support. While childcare is obviously important, there’s a growing need for policies that help family caregivers in a broad spectrum of circumstances. And as the population ages, flexible benefits that allow workers to take time away to care for their aging parents and relatives will become more and more important.
While the need to lend a hand to a relative is nothing new, the sheer size of the aging population presents a unique problem. By 2030, about 20 percent of the population will be senior citizens. And age-related infirmities can often come up suddenly—for instance a fall or a stroke—leaving families scrambling both financially and logistically.