The topic of Baby Boomers (1946-1965), the largest generation in our Canadian population, has been a hot one over the last decade—especially as its oldest members have begun to retire. Meanwhile, the younger members are part of a “sandwich generation,” dealing with younger families as well as aging parents in need of support.
Many adult children in the Ottawa area (and across Canada) are either trying to avoid a crisis situation in supporting aging family members…or they’re right in the middle of one. Regardless, this stress can have a powerful impact on their ability to do quality day-to-day work.
Since Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are put in place to help staff with various issues that may impact their job performance, it’s a natural fit to include a senior living advisor as a resource. Here’s how senior living advisors can help alleviate the stress of caring for seniors in the family—and, in turn, round out your EAP program, allowing employees to focus on their jobs.
Senior living advisors help families find the right home for their family members, based on the client’s unique situation. They get to know the family and already know the options available, so matching families to the right place happens more easily (and much more quickly) than caregivers taking on the time-consuming task of researching on their own.
This support helps reduce employees’ stress levels, because they know they are getting experienced help with such an important decision.
Companies that add in a senior living advisor as part of a diverse EAP are recognized as taking an extra step toward helping employees. Employees appreciate this kind of support and understanding from employers.
It’s a small step to building increased trust and loyalty—plus, it costs nothing to the organization or its employees!
Without a senior living advisor to help them find the right fit for their loved one, many families will conduct 10-15 tours of communities. That often requires taking at least two hours off (often during the work day) per tour.
An advisor can dramatically reduce the search to the top three communities (or other housing suggestions), based on the needs of each individual.
When employees are able to reduce the time off required for a search, they can then reallocate that time toward something restful and rejuvenating, such as a vacation.
Being a caregiver comes with a significantly increased risk of anxiety, depression and emotional stress. Adding to that, caregivers often make self-care a low priority. This neglect can increase susceptibility to stress-related illnesses and weaken the immune system.
All of this leads to increased absenteeism and use of employer benefits—impacting costs incurred by the employee, and leading to increased insurance costs on the part of the employer.
By providing personalized support to caregivers, a senior living advisor can ultimately help to lower all medical costs that these people would normally incur—benefiting not only the employee, but also their employer.
Caring for elderly family members can have varying levels of complexity. The more complex the situation, the more likely an employee will experience the negative effects of the caregiver role. Employers will surely want to show compassion to employees in these situations; however, there is still work to be done. No employer or employee wants to have a difficult conversation about performance in the midst of a personal crisis.
The good news is that providing information on the right resources can ease the strain on the employee, the staff that covers for them, and the manager they report to. The more support the employee can tap into through a comprehensive EAP, the better for everyone involved.