Table of Contents

The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce

The Multi-generational and Aging Workforce

Challenges and Opportunities

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Cary Cooper and Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou

The workforce is aging as people live longer and healthier lives, and mandatory retirement has become a relic of the past. Though workforces have always contained both younger and older employees the age range today has expanded, and the generational gap has become more distinct. This book advocates the need for talented employees of all ages as a way to prevent potential skill shortages and considers both the challenges and opportunities that these changes raise for individual organizations. The benefits they discuss include greater employee diversity with regards to knowledge, skills experience and perspectives, whilst challenges involve potential generational tensions, stereotypes and age biases. The book further places an emphasis on initiatives to create generation-friendly workplaces; these involve fostering lifelong learning, tackling age stereotypes and biases, employing reverse mentoring where younger employees mentor older employees, and offering older individuals career options including phased retirement, bridge employment and encore careers.

Chapter 8: Balancing eldercare and work

Lisa Calvano

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


As populations age in most parts of the world, a growing number of employed individuals are becoming caregivers. According to a report published by Carers UK (2013), “by 2050 globally three times more people of working age will be looking after two billion aging family members” (p. 8). Because caregiving and careers tend to peak at the same time – between the ages of 45 and 64 – eldercare is the new frontier of work–family balance and an emerging issue for human resource managers. Compared to other work–family issues, eldercare is less frequently studied by scholars and discussed at work, but this trend seems to be changing as more caregivers disclose their needs and experiences. In this chapter, I will review the latest international research on balancing eldercare and work, paying special attention to equity issues such as unequal caregiver outcomes, uneven access to resources and stigmatization of caregiving. I will then present two case studies of workplace-based eldercare assistance in the United States that broadens employee access to eldercare resources. In doing so, I hope to contribute to “more support [for] . . . and legitimization of caring issues in the workplace” (Carers UK, 2013, p. 12).

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