A growing number of employers recognize the significant responsibilities that caregiving places on their workforce, and they are finding creative ways to support their caregiving employees including:
  • offering flexible work hours, family illness days, and leave time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of workers with flexible schedules has nearly doubled in the last ten years. Employers who offer flexible scheduling reap the benefits of improved job performance, decreased lateness and employee turnover, and increased job satisfaction.

  • allowing up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a seriously ill parent, spouse or child, while protecting job security. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates this benefit for companies with 50 or more employees. Smaller firms can use the FMLA guidelines to provide support for individual employees.

  • offering "cafeteria style" employee benefits, which allow employees to supplemental dependent care coverage to reimburse costs for in-home care or adult day care. Benefits can cover therapeutic counseling for the employee, as well, to help cope with the stresses of caregiving.

  • ensuring that Human Resource or employee assistance program staff provide information on local I&R services or resource centers.

  • organizing in-house caregiver support groups, or coordinate with local community groups or hospitals so that employees can attend an outside support group.

  • offering the services of a geriatric care manager for a day (or more) during the month to answer employees' questions about caregiving.

  • offering lunchtime information sessions on topics such as Massachusetts Family Caregiver Support Program, or coping skills for caregivers. Contact local Aging Service Access Point for assistance - www.800ageinfo.com/map

  • establishing a telephone hot-line, or publishing a list of key contacts in the employee newsletter.

  • soliciting real-life stories from employees on how they successfully manage work and family challenges, for inclusion into an article to be posted on the corporate Web site.