Monday, June 12, 2006

Companies Boost Elder Care Benefits To Aid Veteran Employees

An article by Kim Leonard for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review outlines how Verizon is taking steps, like many other companies, to help valuable, veteran workers in their 40s and 50s through the stress and confusion of providing care for aging family members. "Many big and small employers already are easing sick time policies and making schedules more flexible, allowing baby boomer workers to fit in needed visits to a frail parent and trips to doctors' offices."
"Baby boomers, comprising the biggest bulge in the population, are at the time of life when their parents are in their 70s, 80s and 90s," said Cliff Shannon, president of SMC Business Councils, representing about 4,000 small manufacturers in the region.
After Verizon noticed that more of its veteran employees were looking for advice on caring for elderly parents or other relatives, it added to its benefits ao that now employees "can find resources on an internal Web site, speak to a counselor and even arrange for a six-hour home visit by a geriatric specialist." As for other companies, Shannon doesn't see SMC members adding paid time off benefits for caregivers, but "there is an understanding that employees ought to be able to use vacation and sick time" to help parents whether they live at home or in assisted living or nursing facilities.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Ma and pa care" (June 11, 2006)

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