Community since 1990
"My parents are getting older, and I've noticed a real decline. When I try to bring the subject up, they say they're fine. How can I be sure?"
"My father just turned 80, and boy has he changed. He's lost a lot of weight, he looks disheveled, and his house is a mess. How do I know if he's capable of caring for himself?"
"Caring for my parents is taking so much out of me. I've been missing work, and feel I am neglecting my children. Is there anyone who can help?"
Taking care of an elderly loved one is a real challenge, which currently involves 1 out of every 4 U.S. households. This number is expected to double by the year 2011, when 5 million baby boomers turn 65.
A recurrent theme that we hear from individuals, is that they fear broaching the subject of whether or not an elder, is capable of caring for themselves. In addition, once it is clear that the elder is in need of assistance, there is often confusion as to what is the best way to proceed. This is a delicate balancing act, to ensure an elder's health and safety, while maintaining their independence and dignity.
While studies show that most seniors are healthy and function at high levels, it is inevitable that as they grow older, issues will surface related to their independence.
Eldercare often requires a multi-disciplinary approach that encompasses many aspects of life such as healthcare, activities of daily living, transportation, fitness and emotional well-being.
To ensure the highest quality of life for the longest time possible, it is crucial that elders and their loved ones, begin a dialogue to discuss the topic of aging. This process needs to focus on the elder's hopes and desires, short and long term goals, and their abilities and needs; while at the same time establishing a spectrum of resources that will address the elder's evolving needs.
Remember - The Caregiver Resource Center is only a phone call away.
When deciding on housing for an elder it is important to take three things into consideration - their functional level, desires, and their financial situation. There is a spectrum of housing alternatives available including:
Home Care - A variety of supportive services provided in the home to individuals who do not require the intensive level of assistance offered in an institutional care setting.
Congregate Housing - A managed residential facility that provides room, board, supervision, activities and some assistance with activities of daily living
Retirement Communities - Privately owned and operated retirement living with a variety of housing alternatives in one location ranging from cottages, to individual apartments to a skilled nursing facility.
Assisted Living Facilities - A managed residential facility providing independent apartments, supervision, activities and some assistance with ADLs.
Nursing Home Care - For people who are chronically ill or recovering from a brief illness but do not need hospital care.
Intermediate Nursing Care - Less intensive than skilled nursing care, but still providing 24-hour nursing care, with focus on personal care and social work.
Skilled Nursing Facility - Medical nursing care provided 24 hours a day by licensed professionals as prescribed by a physician.
Hospice Care - Services and care at home or in a health care facility for terminal elders and their families.
Statistics show that as many as 25% of seniors experience depression, that if properly diagnosed, could be successfully treated. Recognizing depression in an elderly person is not always easy, and can go undetected for years.
All to often a doctor or loved one will minimize symptoms, and chalk them up to "normal" aging, or that of a medical condition (e.g. dementia). Although it is true that accepting the aging process can be difficult for some individuals, there is a clear difference between discouragement and clinical depression.
Possible signs of depression:
- Withdrawal from others
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Sadness most of the time
- Forgetfulness & lack of concentration
- Considerable weight loss or gain
- Poor grooming
- Difficulty concentrating
If you suspect depression - seek professional assistance.
The latest US Census records show that Americans age 65 and older, currently comprise 13% of the population, with this number expected to rise to 20% by 2030. Taking care of an elderly loved one is a real challenge, which currently involves 1 out of every 4 U.S. households.
Working caregivers represent between 7.4% and 11.8% of the workforce. In fact, 48% of all employed caregivers work part time and there are at least 8.7 million working caregivers who provide less intensive forms of help, including long distance caregiving.
Caregiving responsibilities often take a toll on the health of the caregiver and on employee productivity due to increases in absenteeism, early retirement and turnover, and decreases in on-the-job effectiveness. Almost three-quarters of the caregivers surveyed said that care-giving had an impact on their health, with more than two in ten reporting significant health problems.
The Hidden Cost of Caregiving
Corporate America is paying a high price as their employees struggle to care for their elderly and aging relatives according to a MetLife Survey This study reports that the aggregate costs of caregiving, to U.S. businesses, is estimated to be around $11.4 Billion per year in Lost Productivity.
A 1999 MetLife study, reported that the average working caregiver is subject to a loss of more than $659,000 over their lifetime, as a result of their caregiving responsibilities:
-$ 567,000 in lost wages
-$ 67,000 in retirement contributions
-$ 25,000 in social security benefits
The Dependent-Care Assistance Plan was created in 1981 under Section 129 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. This program is also known as Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts.
These are accounts into which employees with dependent-care responsibilities can allocate either their own pre-tax dollars or credits or flexible benefits dollars given to them by their employer. They are established for reimbursement of dependent-care expenses that are work-related and incurred by the employee for the care of dependent children under the age of 13 or for spouses or dependents who are unable to care for themselves, regardless of age, and who regularly spend at least eight hours each day in the employee's household.A maximum of $5,000 per year ($2,500 in the case of married individuals filing separate tax returns) can be set aside in a Dependent Care Plan. (Neal et al., 2001, 1993)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees, both male and female, in order to care for their families or themselves for specified family and medical conditions.
FMLA provides eligible employees with up to 12 work-weeks of unpaid leave in a 12 month period for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child; care of a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition; or their own serious health condition which causes an inability to work. If you qualify and have unused FMLA leave time, your employer cannot deny you FMLA leave.
This legislation only applies to organizations with 50 or more employees and provides employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to be used during a 12- month period. CT's Family and Medical Leave Act has been expanded to include 16 weeks.
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About Our Company
Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. has over twenty five years of experience providing services for individuals, couples, families, and organizations. Our mission is to provide a broad range of high quality counseling, outreach, and consultation services to help clients assess their needs, evaluate their relationships, define their goals, and design action plans that includes specific and practical steps to achieve those goals.
Our organizational goals are to:
The Caregiver Resource Center is a division of Employee Assistance Professionals, Inc. Our mission is to assist seniors, people with special needs and their families; in understanding the aging process, facilitating open communication; and providing information, support and guidance through the caregiving process.
Our goals are to:
In addition to working with seniors, people with special needs and their families; The Caregiver Resource Center also provides a spectrum of services for businesses and their employees.
Our services help maximize employee productivity, sustain supervisors' focus on operations, and equips senior management with an effective cost management tool.
We are available to provide services on a case-by-case basis, or as a full service company program.
The Caregiver Resource Center
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