Caregiver Discrimination in the Workplace

Posted by: Nikki Buckelew

Caregiver Discrimination in the Workplace

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) recently released a study entitled “Protecting Caregivers from Discrimination in the Workplace.”

Many family members that I – and you as a real estate professional – work with are faced with some of the challenges detailed in this study. Whether you're a senior move manager or a real estate agent helping a senior or their family to buy or sell a new home in the downsizing process, these issues likely play a large part in the thought process of your clients.

Two statistics jumped out at me:

  1. The average caregiver is a 49-year old woman who works outside of the home and provides as much as 20 hours of unpaid care each week for an elderly family member.
  2. Forty-two percent of U.S. Workers provided this sort of unpaid eldercare in the past five years and 49 percent expected to provide it for a loved one within the next five years.

If you're a real estate professional
specializing in the senior real estate niche, these are numbers that you absolutely must know and understand. In fact, they are ridiculously huge numbers and should provide a realistic comprehension for you of the stress that many family members are under as they begin to contemplate downsizing their loved one into a smaller home, retirement community or assisted living facility.

That stress is exacerbated by the discrimination that such caregivers face in the workplace as employers frown on the absences and tardiness that result from family responsibilities of this nature. As of 2012, only four states, Connecticut, Oregon, Alaska, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, claim laws that surpass the basic protections of federal statutes.

I offer these facts to you as a means of helping you better understand the pains of your clients and their family members. Additionally, if you're working directly with a senior or a boomer in the selling of their home, these are important numbers for them to comprehend if one of their driving goals is to lessen the strain on their family now or in the future.

AARP Article:



Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment. 

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