Jackie McGee, Work-Life Specialist

Elder care is in high demand these days. As a work-life specialist, I receive more requests for elder care referrals than any other work-life request.

Employees accessing assistance services tend to feel stressed as they try to figure out next steps for helping parent(s) or loved ones with necessary care. They’re losing sleep, or having issues at work and home.

The responsibilities of elder care can often prove overwhelming, so what can managers and supervisors do to support employees who are going through these trying experiences?

Begin by reflecting on the following questions when discussing elder care support with
an employee:

  • Does the organization have any suggestions on how employees can progress when dealing with caring for an elderly parent(s) or other loved ones?
  • When should you engage employees about work-related performance issues resulting from elder care responsibilities?
  • Does the organization have an employee assistance program (EAP)? If so, what services does the EAP offer to employees?
  • What are work-life services and how can they help with elder care?

Many companies have EAP benefits that assist employees in their everyday lives, but employees often don’t know the benefit is available. Talk with your human resources office to clarify what benefits are offered by the organization and promote services to staff.

The EAP helps with multiple issues or concerns that employees deal with, presenting options to keep them afloat and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. But what else can an EAP provide, and how does it pertain to elder care?

Elder Care Services for Employees

Most EAPs offer counseling sessions for those employees who are stressed, depressed or have anxiety regarding elder care expenses, services, insurances or powers of attorney for loved ones.

Elder care work-life services, specifically, can provide help with finding assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, in-home care, care management, mental health services and more. Legal and financial services are sometimes available to make sure employees aren’t overburdened with expenses, insurances, powers of attorney, property issues and other pertinent elder care concerns. Managers should regularly refresh their knowledge of the EAP benefit, and employees should never hesitate to ask questions regarding particular EAP services.

If you, a peer or an employee are struggling with elder care, it may be time to contact human resources and start the process of tackling concerns affecting work performance. Managers dream of having stress-free, cheerful employees who are efficient and effective in their roles, and your EAP can assist with the elder care challenges weighing on employees’ minds.

Looking for more information on elder care or other EAP services? Reach out today.