As many employers have realized, a significant number of middle-aged and older adults continue to spend most of their waking hours in the workplace. Research conducted by the Miller Center, a not-for-profit community service of the Winter Park Health , brought awareness to the urgent need to educate employers and employees about aging and caregiving issues.
Caregiving is a demanding role for anyone, but it is especially challenging for the working caregiver. Most caregivers suffer, in some way from the demands put on them. Caregivers spend an average of 17.9 hours per week caring for family members and friends who are ill or disabled. If they are caring for someone with mental impairment, such as dementia, this number can raise as high as 52.5 hours per week.*
Easterseals offers a four-part workshop series explores the key issues of aging that are affecting families nationwide. These brown-bag lunch sessions have been enthusiastically received by family-friendly employers and their staff both locally and nationally. The Work Life Education Series is designed to provide essential information to employees who are currently elder caregivers or who wish to plan ahead for the aging of their family members and themselves.
In this session participants will develop their recognition that our parents always remain our parents, even when their dependency needs increase. They will enhance heir appreciation for the perceptions and feelings of older family members and explore their relationship with their parent(s) and how they can improve it.
This module recognizes that some older adults live long and healthy lives, while others experience disease and decline. Curriculum teaches participants to recognize health changes related to aging and implement strategies for being smart medical consumers. It also advises caregivers on how to assist their loved ones with health issues.
Caregiving is a demanding and complex job that incorporates many roles. This module identifies strategies for mobilizing the family and other caregivers to handle elder care. Participants will learn a process for making decisions that is practical and inclusive. They will also discover community resource available to help caregivers.
In this session participants will learn to develop guidelines for multiple generations living together. The will explore options for balancing caregiving and work as well as how to set limits as a caregiver.
The goal of this series is to create learning and sharing experiences in which individuals feel free to express their eldercare needs and explore options within the context of the work setting and with the support of family-friendly employers. Sessions will also help participants to understand the employer’s viewpoint and encourage them to be both proactive and professional in getting their needs met.
Contact Easterseals for more information about the Work Life Education series.
* Source: Peter S. Arno, “Economic Value of Informal Caregiving,” 1999. United Hospital Fund.