Surprise: You Might Get Elder Care Help at Work

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On April 18, 2013, Posted by , In Home Care, By ,, , With Comments Off on Surprise: You Might Get Elder Care Help at Work

It makes sense that performance at work would suffer when an employee is under enormous pressure outside of work.  Employees who are faced with having to care for elderly parents see their lives change in an instant. Caring for elderly parents is a challenge for anyone much less for adults who are working full time.

The best employers know this and provide a myriad of benefits to help employees who are dealing with aging parents and other caretaking issues.  Caregivers need help, resources, and they also need time—time to handle all the details and decisions. A study done by the National Alliance for Caregiving and Center for Productive Aging fromTowsonUniversityfound employees who were dealing with eldercare issues took substantial time away from work to do so:

  • 81% of caregivers routinely took time during the workday to make arrangements for care or to check on their loved one.
  • 70% said they needed days off to attend to their care giving duties.
  • 64% arrived late or left work early.
  • 41% took time at work to discuss caregiver issues with co-workers.

Employees who are stressed and distracted are not productive, so employers that understand this offer resources to help employees deal with day-to-day, emotional, and financial issues that accompany eldercare.  Here is a list of resources that may be offered at your workplace:

Day-to-Day Support: This includes getting the time needed to take care of the issues at hand as well as emergencies that arise.

  • Flextime – “We don’t care when you do it, we care about it getting done” is the motto of flexible work time and many employers will accommodate hard working dedicated employees who need time during the day to handle the details of caring for a family member.  There are certain procedures that are set in stone as company policy, but often with flextime a supervisor may have some degree of discretion for an employee on an individual basis.
  • Paid Time Off – Employees with elderly parents may want to save up a bank of sick leave or PTO in case their parents need them.  Using PTO time to handle issues with parents is most advantageous because it obviously doesn’t disrupt pay and company-paid benefits are left intact.
  • FMLA – The Family Medical Leave Act provides certain employees up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave to help care for a family member. The advantage of taking FMLA if you are eligible is that you are guaranteed your job back and your benefits stay intact, although you are still responsible for paying your share of the premium for these benefits.  This can be a life saver for employees who have used up their paid time off but still have obligations to care for others.
  • Leave of Absence – The difference between a leave of absence and the FMLA is a job guarantee when you get back.  With a leave of absence, you have a “gentleman’s” agreement with your employer that they will save your position for you.
  • Back-up Day Care – Some employers offer back up emergency day care for adults as well as children at a minimal cost to the employee.  This is provided when their regular day care or adult care professionals aren’t available thus reducing the stress of an emergency and increasing productivity at work.

People don’t normally sit around the dinner table thinking about what could happen to their parents, but when the time comes employer resources can help.  What can also help is to delay the inevitable by taking preventative measures.  If they qualify, have them take out a long-term care policy (your employer may offer a group rate to immediate family).  Teach your parents safety awareness from the big things to the little things to prevent falls.  Keep them healthy as much as possible.


Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Warren or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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