Getting Elder Care Benefits at Work

With more than two out of five Americans caring for their aging parents—many of whom do so because they cannot afford to pay for other elder assistance—it’s often difficult to find time for both work and caregiving.  Indeed, according to a recent article in Forbes, many children who act as caregivers worry that, without assistance from their employers, their aging parents may face nursing home neglect.  Lately, however, more employers are “now providing help for employees who feel that they just have to ‘suck it up’ in managing this care and their careers.”

Old Man

What’s the relationship between elder abuse and workplace assistance?  Many factors could play into this correlation, including:

  •      When employees don’t have time to properly locate elder care resources, they make uninformed decisions about nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, or even in-home nurses.  Help from an employer can mean the difference between a care facility with a strong patient record and one with a history of nursing home abuse violations.
  •      When employees don’t have enough money set aside to help pay for care from reputable daycare facilities or nursing homes, their aging parents can end up in a facility that costs less but has a record of neglect.

Elder Care Changes at U.S. Workplaces

The Society for Human Resource Management recently funded a 2014 National Study of Employers, which was conducted by the Families and Work Institute.  What’s the relationship between employer-employee relations and elder care?  In short, “more employers are offering elder care help.”  And for an employee who is also a caregiver, help from management can mean that you can “care for your parent without losing your job” and without putting an elderly loved one at risk.

The recent study surveyed more than 1,000 employers, including those in both for-profit and nonprofit industries.  The results suggested that significantly more employers are looking at elder care as an issue that should be addressed.  In the last five years, the study indicated that the following changes have occurred in the workplace:

  •      More than 40 percent (43 percent, in fact) of the employers surveyed reported that “they offer Elder Care Resource and Referral.  What kind of a service is this?  In short, these employers indicate that they provide employees with “help in finding resources and information about elder care.”  Back in 2008, only 31 percent of these employers offered this form of assistance.
  •      More than 40 percent of these employers also offer Dependent Care Assistance Plans.  These are elder care plans that allow an employee to “set aside money from each paycheck before taxes to pay for elder care expenses.”  This number has risen significantly since 2008, when only 23 percent of employers surveyed offered this kind of plan.

According to the Forbes article, the ever-aging American population likely is what has led more employers to consider elder care.  And if you’re hoping to find employment with a company that offers such benefits, the study determined that larger employers (more than 50 percent) are “more likely to offer Dependent Care Assistance Plans” than smaller employers (only 38 percent).

Contact a San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Anyone can become the victim of elder abuse or neglect.  Even a facility that looks to be competent upon a first visit can have problems, including issues with staffing numbers and high rates of medication errors.  At the Walton Law Firm, we are dedicated to assisting Southern California residents who have suffered injuries because of nursing home abuse.  Contact a San Diego nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about how we can help.

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