Identifying Employer Support Available for Family Caregivers


It is estimated that at least 1 in every 10 American workers is providing care for an elder loved one. Many caregivers report that their caregiving responsibilities have put strain on their career.


Fortunately, the majority of employers offer programs or services that are designed to help family caregivers. However, a significant number of working caregivers don't realize the benefits they are eligible to receive, which may include an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) that provides access to eldercare resources. Caregivers also have the right to utilize the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) for senior care.


Consider checking with your company to see if they offer the following:


Access to Respite Care: Respite care is temporary care help and may be needed for assistance with tasks like taking a loved one to a doctor's appointment or even time away for self-care.


Flexibility/Time off: Family caregivers are frequently trying to juggle all of their own responsibilities and needs with the needs of their loved one. Time and flexibility can consequently be very valuable. Ask your employer what sort of arrangement may be permissible. For example, many employers have expanded their offerings of paid time off in recent years. The majority of employers provide paid or unpaid time off for eldercare without jeopardizing employees' jobs.


Counseling: Senior caregiving can have a range of social, emotional, and physical consequences. If you feel helpless and weighed down by your responsibilities, it can be extremely beneficial to speak with an experienced counselor. Ask your employer if they offer counseling services and if not, consider advocating for them. Such services would likely be useful for many other employees as well.


Source: “When Work Works for You: Identifying What Support You Need as a Working Family Caregiver.” Caregiver Stress, www.caregiverstress.com/stress-management/daughters-in-the-workplace/when-work-works-for-you/.