What to do when your family caregiving follows you to work. Part 1 of 9
Recently I have been cohosting a weekly Tuesday virtual mini-class at 11 a.m. PST on zoom. The title of the class is GOING HOME STAYING HOME: Advice, Tips & Practical Solutions For Caregiving Families.
A CFO, an only child, and a family caregiver, along with his coworkers who are caregivers, sent in nine relevant questions worth sharing. The company they work for has an employee assistance program (EAP) but the employees who are family caregivers do not get enough help or do not seem to have practical answers and or resources to support them in their caregiving roles. My first thought was, why are employee assistance programs not very helpful to caregiver employees? Corporations have invested resources in developing EAPs in an effort to support caregivers and retain workers, but most EAP programs fall short in the area of elder care. The problem with family caregiving is that most people become family caregivers by accident, so there is not a plan in place for caregiving. Where EAPs fail is exactly at the point where employees are handed a list of community resources and then the employee spends work hours calling to request information.
Weeks later, the employee becomes more overwhelmed with a table stacked high with brochures and pamphlets full of fragmented pieces of confusing information. What caregiver employees need is a practical plan with actionable steps to handle the everchanging needs of those they care for. Most EAPs are not helpful because they do not offer life resource planning, care coordination, transitional care pathways, and the knowledge to navigate our fragmented healthcare system. For an EAP to be complete and effective, it needs a work-life balance program, employee wellness, life resource planning, and a coordinated long-term care planning approach from a geriatric care manager or a life resource planner.
If you are an HR manager, CFO, or COO, can you call me? I would like to know how your EAP is designed and/or if I can be of help.