Workshop to help employers support family caregivers in workplace

Workshop to help employers support family caregivers in workplace Main Photo

30 Sep 2017

Peter Kaspari

Employers in Fort Dodge will have the opportunity to learn how to support their workers who are also caregivers for loved ones at an event on Oct. 11.

The presentation, ”Return on Investment: How Employers Can Benefit from Supporting Family Caregivers in the Workplace,” is a collaborative effort between AARP Iowa, the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, the Employers’ Council of Iowa and others.

Former Fort Dodge City Councilman John Hale and his wife, Terri Hale, who serve as caregiver advisors with AARP Iowa, will be giving the presentation.

John Hale said one in six American workers also serves as a caregiver.

“Employers of any size know success is based on attracting and retaining that productive and loyal workforce,” he said. “But what they might not be aware of is the challenge of workforce stability due to a large number of employees that are also family caregivers.”

Because they juggle both their work life and their life as a caregiver, Hale said employees can become overwhelmed.

“They’re spending an average of 20 hours or more per week, on top of full-time employment, caring for and supporting loved ones who are aging or living with chronic illness or disabilities,” he said.

Not only does this impact the worker, but it also impacts their employer.

“Employers are feeling the impact of that through increased absences of employees, lower productivity, higher health care costs and, in many cases, requests for extended time off or reduced hours,” he said. “Or reduced hours or there may be an early retirement or resignation. All of those things end up hurting the bottom line for employers and their overall success.”

Hale said AARP has efforts across the country to support caregivers, and that includes Iowa.

“We’ll talk about the challenges that employees have that are family caregivers, how that affects employers and what employers can do to better support their employees who are, or will be in the future, family caregivers,” Hale said. “We’ll provide them with information and insights and tools that they can immediately put to use.”

The goal, he said, is to help employees understand the challenges caregivers face “and better support their employees so they can be the best employer possible.”

Full article.

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