Would you like to know how you can support caregivers? As the population ages, more and more workers are becoming caregivers. It is a trend that is constantly evolving. Statistics from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) in 2018 show that the number of Americans 65 and older could double from 52 million to 95 million by 2060. The rising number of older people who develop Alzheimer’s disease could increase the demand for assisted living.
Many professionals will now care for their aging parents and sometimes raise their children simultaneously. They will be challenged in more ways than one, balancing their responsibilities at work and home. It can lead to staffing and efficiency issues for companies. However, there are some upsides. With the proper support, caregivers can be competent employees who are valuable resources to your organization. Facilities that provide support gain a reputation for their appreciation of family. They offer employee eldercare assistance solutions essential for the company’s productivity.
The Rights Of Caregivers In The Workplace
The massive demographic shift in the industry is a sign that organizations should be mindful of staying current with procedural protections for caregivers while developing a caregiver support strategy. You should consider employees’ constitutional rights and legal responsibilities when making decisions about their caregiving duties.
1. Federal Rules And Regulations:
It is worth noting that civil rights laws often extend to caregivers in the workplace, among other regulations. Here are some examples;
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963
- The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
- Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act
2. State Legislation:
Some states already implemented paid leave at the beginning of 2020. At the same time, several other states are considering bills that would grant paid leave to employees. You should check the laws that apply in your state.
The Family Leave and Medical Act requires companies with 50 or more employees to give their employees three months of unpaid leave when caring for family members. You can take this time all at once or in segments. Frequently, these regulations are referenced in lawsuits alleging discriminatory practices by caregivers. Fortunately, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) has produced a best practices manual for dealing with employees with caregiving responsibilities. It’s also a good idea to hire outside legal counsel to draft an all-inclusive policy that will protect your company from legal liability.
That said, here are some ways to support your caregivers;
Set Up Assistance Programs For Employees
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide help on several fronts, such as:
- Stress and anxiety counseling related to family caregiving.
- Referrals to senior care solutions, including home care, senior centers, or skilled nursing facilities
- Assistance with financial and legal problems
Assuming you do not have an EAP, exploring these options is in your best interest. Hiring a benefits broker can help you get the right advice. If you work for a PEO (Professional Employer Organization), these benefits are almost always included in their benefits packages.
Invite Professionals To A “Lunch And Learn.”
Managing daily caregiving tasks and responsibilities can be stressful. Consider inviting professionals to speak about typical caregiving challenges to help your staff understand them. These professionals can take them through the following;
- Long-term treatment options, for instance, community-based, home care, and assisted living.
- The process of navigating the Medicare industry
- Care for a chronic illness
- Education on saving for retirement while caring for aging parents
- Stress relief for family caregivers
Form Associated Groups
Affinity groups bring together workers in similar stages of life facing similar issues. For example, organizations for working parents are popular in many industries. It’s worth starting a support group for employees caring for aging parents. You can also expand this group to include other family caregivers. Realizing that you are in the same situation as others is essential for employees struggling to cope with caregiving tasks and can also serve as a platform for advice. Follow these steps to ensure the success of your family caregiver advocacy groups;
- Leverage existing connections.
- Meet regularly at a time and place that is convenient for caregivers.
- Make sure everyone knows about it.
Initiate Innovative Approaches
Consider new ideas to boost employee performance while allowing them to care for the people they love. Consider the following options;
- Schedule meetings flexibly
- Give room for remote working
- Workload reduction
Businesses should consider using the above strategies to support caregivers who are today an essential part of the workplace. That way, they will serve their community while making employees feel important when offering services.