Be Prepared for the Unexpected: How to Proactively Help Working Caregivers
A few years ago, my grandmother fell down the stairs of the house she was living in alone. This one event resulted in two major changes: My grandmother had to give up her independence and her home to get the help she needed; and my mom was suddenly thrust into a new role she wasn’t prepared for – caregiver.
After a tough conversation about my grandmother’s need for help, we decided to sell her house and look for an elder care home. My mom spent months researching quality, affordable assisted living facilities, eventually finding one where my grandmother lived for two years before her health worsened. Difficult decisions piled up again as my mom had to review healthcare options, face an emergency hospital visit, then research skilled nursing facilities.
When my grandmother passed away, my mom had been a full-time caregiver for more than three years.
The Caregiving Generation
As challenging as my family’s experience was, it wasn’t unique. 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and as this generation ages and faces riskier health issues, their adult children may suddenly find themselves in an unexpected caregiver role.
I think the surprise of the situation is a big part of what makes caregiving so difficult. Your dad could be the picture of health, then suddenly have a stroke. Just like that, you have to figure out how to decipher insurance policies and legal matters, whether dad should move in with you or you should hire an in-home caregiver, and how to even begin a conversation with your dad about accepting help.
Along with managing these unexpected caregiving responsibilities, 60% of family caregivers also have jobs. Trying to balance both without overlap is pretty much impossible, so productivity levels might drop while their stress levels skyrocket.
Empower and Support Working Caregivers
Companies are losing $34 billion every year due to absenteeism, lost productivity, and healthcare costs related to caregiver employees. Employers have an opportunity to address the potential challenges for their workforce by proactively offering caregiver support, ensuring employees have the right resources as soon as the need arises.
New Benefits offers a solution through our Caregiver Support benefit, a bundle of three support tools covering everything from healthcare and legal guidance to companionship and household chore assistance. Caregiver Support is now available for brokers, agents, and consultants to offer to their groups.
Learn more about Caregiver Support by talking to New Benefits.
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