Eldercare in the Workplace Listen up HR Professionals Part 2

by Joy Loverde

As an HR professional, the more you can prepare your company employees for inevitable family caregiving responsibilities, the more stable your workplace. Part 1 of “Eldercare in the Workplace: Listen up HR Professionals” offered suggestions on helping employees become aware of eldercare issues. This blog will offer specific action steps you can take to help employed family members plan for the inevitable responsibility of eldercare:

1. Spread the word.

Boost eldercare awareness by consistently publicizing eldercare programs and resources in your employee newsletter, e-mail, bulletin boards, paycheck envelopes, and television monitors.

2. Encourage Early Planning.

Provide an easy way for employees to purchase books and videos on eldercare and family caregiving topics. The most efficient way for anyone to start the process of eldercare planning is to buy a copy of The Complete Eldercare Planner (Mary link please).

Influence employees to plan early on by providing information about the company’s eldercare programs in the employee benefits packet.

3. Educate. Educate. Educate.

Offer bi-monthly eldercare planning workshops during the lunch hour. Bring in the experts who can give employees one-on-one advice and resources. Elder law attorneys, financial planners, family caregiving professionals, and others offer a wealth of expertise.

4. Offer Information and Referrals.

Advertise eldercare and family caregiving resources. Display local and national eldercare resources. Call your local hospital, area agency on aging, social service organizations, and specific illness associations like the Alzheimer’s Association and ask them to send free brochures and directories.

5. Supplement Employee Assistance Programs.

Employee assistance programs are greatly enhanced when the subject of eldercare is integrated into existing services such as confidential hot-lines and one-on-one counseling sessions. Let employees know that the company’s employee assistance program is yet another outlet to share their family eldercare concerns. At the same time, counselors can influence employees to plan ahead by recommending eldercare books, videos and workshops that gain responsible behavior on the part of the employee.

Give every employee the opportunity to plan for eldercare and family caregiving responsibilities, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you’ve armed them as best you can to help keep the workplace running smoothly.

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