Workforce.com

How HR Can Help Relocating Caregivers

March 1, 1997
Companies often tailor their relocation packages to meet the needs of upper management whom they’re hoping to relocate. For cases in which the manager also is the caretaker of an elderly person, here are some options to consider.

Help employee with elder’s housing needs: Postpone the move to accommodate the employee’s search for adequate housing.

If the employee is relocating with the elder, provide him or her free transportation to and from the new location to search for appropriate housing or placement.

Set up appropriate resources: Find and fund a care-management service that would help caregivers locate elder-care resources in either the old or new location.

If the employee is leaving the elderly relative behind, provide information on local private-care managers (who act as surrogate kin).

If the employee is relocating with the elder, provide subscriptions to local newspapers or special publications dealing with local elder-care services and provide the employee with contact families in the new location who are in the same position.

Help with dollar expenditures: Provide a direct subsidy to help the employee with the responsibilities of elder care.

Help pay for a private-care manager or management service.

If the elderly relative is being left behind, pay for a set number of trips back home each year for the relocating employee.

If the elderly relative is moving with the employee, pay for the relative’s moving and transportation expenses and/or provide the employee with a larger housing subsidy to permit purchase of a house that has an in-law setup.

A company’s credibility is enhanced when it already has in place these policies: A policy of alternative work arrangements, such as flextime and telecommuting.

A resource-and-referral program for child care and elder care.

Some form of a family sick-day program.

Take-home meals from a company cafeteria.

Fitness center and training for employees’ relatives, including frail elderly.

Community care fairs with local agencies participating to inform employees of community resources.

Ongoing lunch-time seminars and elder-care support group meetings.

Dependent-care reimbursement accounts.

SOURCE: Pat Estess, president of New York City-based Work Families Inc., publisher of Working Families newsletter

Workforce, March 1997, Vol. 76, No. 3, p. 48.