In addition, says SHRM's Elliott, employers can simply better educate their workers about their options. Nearly three-quarters of workplaces offer dependent care flex spending accounts, but many people don't realize that they can use those accounts for caring for older relatives, in addition to childcare. He adds that employee assistance programs, which often are advertised as a way of helping employees seek counseling for themselves, often also can help them find elder care options. Likewise, Elliott says, many people do not know that the Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take unpaid leave for elder relatives, not just children.
Finally, employers can allow for more flexible scheduling, says Elliott. While the new push for working from home is often associated with America's youngest workers, he says, the older cohort may in fact soon be the policy's strongest advocates.
"The Millennials are getting a lot of credit for this, because they're demanding that type of flexibility," says Elliott. "But guess what: the older employees have got Mom and Dad to take care of now that they've raised their kids."