Eldercare in the Workplace Listen up HR Professionals Part 1


by Joy Loverde

At the end of the day, when your fellow co-workers leave the workplace and head for home, some are just beginning their other full-time job. With an aging population upon us, Moms, Dads, Grandparents and  other loved ones are waiting at home for their arrival and depending on them for care and attention.

The statistics are quite telling; one out of every four employees is managing some level of family eldercare responsibility. And it’s complicated. The rising cost of care, the distance between loved ones, and the family’s assumptions of who will take on what responsibility can blindside an employed family caregiver when he or she least expects it. And, here’s where you come into play.

What can’t be emphasized enough is to encourage co-workers to open their eyes to inevitable family eldercare issues right now, and the most efficient way for anyone to get up to speed is to review my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner. The number-one issue to address immediately is the one of financing a longer life. The “Money Matters” chapter offers comprehensive tips, checklists, and resources.

If your company publishes an employee newsletter (hard copy or online), offer family caregiving articles that frame the subject of eldercare in a proactive and positive light. Example: When you plan for family eldercare responsibilities, you are planning for the future financial and emotional stability of your entire family. This is exactly the mindset you want employees to be in when they think about eldercare.

Contrary to popular belief, eldercare is not about death and dying, nursing homes and funerals. There are many, many issues employees can address right now. Here are a few to encourage them to think about in the early eldercare planning stages:

  • Talking to aging parents about financing a longer life
  • How to tell when aging parents need help
  • Housing and caregiving services: How to help parents to age in place
  • Estate planning and powers of attorney
  • Check-in systems that help prevent an eldercare crisis
  • Long-distance caregiving

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