Check out this great article by Sherri Snelling: Caregiving is a Corporate Issue:
I’ve included my submitted comments here. Please share your opinion, thoughts, and experiences with me about this ever growing work/life challenge.
Thank you Shelly!
Those of us trying to help educate employers and employees applaud you for turning the spotlight onto the “employee as elder caregiver” challenge. And a “Thank You” to the employers that are helping their employees that provide care for an older adult loved one while also working for you.
Despite hundreds of stories and studies on the “employee as elder caregiver challenge” many companies are unaware of this productivity draining and stress inducing problem. The reasons for this are many, but Shelly has pointed out several of the more problematic ones, including how it usually takes the head of a company or someone in the C-Suite to encounter elder caregiving difficulties before a realization is made it is also affecting their employee population. Another is the fear in loss of employment or opportunity to advance by admitting you are an elder caregiver, (especially when economy tanks and employers are looking to downsize).
There are dozens of measures a company can take to define and manage this ever expanding work/life issue. Many of the solutions are inexpensive and some are free. They help bring positive enhancement of company productivity, associated employee health-related issues and facilitate relief of employee eldercare-related stresses.
An initial tip for employers: Many employee respondents to my survey indicated the #1 piece of advice they craved was about Medicare and Medicaid. Many were unaware there was even a difference between the two. Contact an expert in this area and have them provide several lunch and learns for your employees. Have the employees provide you with feedback.
I also encourage visiting the ReACT web site http://respectcaregivers.org. ReACT is a coalition of corporations and organizations dedicated to addressing the challenges faced by employee caregivers and reducing the impact on the companies that employ them. You will learn about free resources and tools for employers. As a ReACT Advisory committee member, you can find me listed under “About ReACT”, then “Our Members”, Corporate Eldercare Solutions or http://www.corporateeldercaresolutions.com
I look forward to seeing an increasing number of articles on this growing crisis (because that is what it is).