Helping Employees Handle Eldercare

Posted by in eldercare, employee issues, health issues, Keynote | 0 comments

Eldercare responsibilities are a reality in today’s workplace, costing employers $47 billion per year! According to MetLife cost surveys, these stressed-out, distracted employees cost businesses $33.6 Billion a year in lost productivity. The number of employees who are shouldering eldercare responsibilities is about to explode as the largest generation, ‘Baby boomers’, postpone retirement while juggling multiple caregiving, work and personal responsibilities.

Not only are ‘boomers’ raising children, but over one-half provide care for an aging parent. They also result in additional health care costs of $13.4 Billlion a year because caregivers suffer disproportionately from depression and chronic diseases and and rarely participate in preventive heath screenings.

Stratagies

Providing targeted assistance to these ‘sandwhich generation’ employees is much more than ‘a feel-good perk’, it’s a necessity! Offering eldercare support and benefits to employees makes economic sense, increases loyalty, while building teamwork and good will. Through education and greater understanding of this issue employers can;

  • Become more knowledgeable about and sensitive to the complexities and emotional challenges associated with eldercare,
  • Encourage employees to use the company’s exisiting eldercare benefits by creating a corporate culture where talking openly about eldercare issues is actively encouraged and supported and where these benefits are explained to the employees,
  • Offer cost effective strategies and benefits for increasing producitivity and reducing healthcare costs by supporting the health and well being of your most important resource – your people!
Best practices (AARP)
  • Freddie Mac: free eldercare consultant and access to subsidized aides for a relative for up to 20 days
  • Verizon: seminars on eldercare issues; allows FT workers 80 hours/year of back-up care, 40 hours for PT, and $4 hour for in-home help
  • Alston & Bird (Atlanta law firm): workers can donate vacation time to colleagues who use up theirs to care for family members
  • Lee Memorial Health System: grant for caregiver support program; discounted rates at adult day care centers
  • LL Bean: on-site educational program “Taking Care of Mom, Dad and Me.”
  • Cornell University: 3 days/year (from paid sick leave) to care for parents, up to 6 months unpaid leave; “Life Cycles” workshop educational program
  • George Mason University: support groups; seminar series: “Caregiving from a Distance,’ “Navigating Medicare,” Elder-Care Mediation,” “Balance for Boomers and Their Parents: Thinking on Your Feet”
  • Saint Vincent Health System: “Elder Kit” planning guide (financial planning, etc.)

 

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