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Ways HR Can Support Elder-Care Services

October 1, 1999
Providing employees assistance with elder-care services helps them get backon track -- which in turn helps your company. Here are ten ways your company cansupport elder care.

  1. Provide work/life benefits that help employees balance their work and personal lives. Companies may provide counseling, education and referral services on dependent care issues, such as elder care. As a free benefit, employees have 24-hour access to trained counselors who can locate adult-care resources (such as adult day-care programs, home health-care agencies, nursing homes, support groups, and more) in their area -- or nationwide.


  2. Host lunch-time seminars to educate employees on elder-care/care-giving issues such as Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, home-care services, etc. Invite guest speakers or arrange for your work/life provider to host a seminar explaining the company’s elder-care services.


  3. Discuss flexible work arrangements, such as flex-time, compressed schedules, job sharing or part-time schedules, which may allow an employee to better care for an elder without conflicting with work responsibilities.


  4. Form onsite support groups for employees who care for elders, headed by a professional mediator, if possible.


  5. Arrange employee discounts for elder-care providers in your area (e.g., adult day-care programs, home health-care agencies, etc.).


  6. Start a lending library of care-giving and elder-care books.


  7. Provide Internet access so employees can link to numerous care-giving and adult-care Web sites.


  8. Offer flexible benefit/spending plans that allow employees to set aside money from their salaries on a pre-tax basis to be used for dependent-care expenses.


  9. Implement backup care programs, employer-sponsored subsidies that reimburse employees for part of the cost of backup care -- temporary care provided when regular care arrangements are disrupted. Note: Not only does this benefit employees, but it also decreases absenteeism and saves your company valuable time and money.


  10. Train managers on elder-care issues and benefits offered by your company so they can effectively support employees.

Source: Dependent Care Connection

Workforce, October 1999, Vol. 78, No. 10, p. 64-- Subscribenow!