A southern university is one of a few employers to offer benefit to workers in an effort to meet changing needs and evolving familial trends related to long term care.

Family Caregivers

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia recently launched a new program to help employers navigate the difficulties of providing care to a loved one, a job that more family members are tasked with these days. As the cost of long term care continues to climb along with the prevalence of dementia, Americans are relying on family caregivers at an unprecedented rate.

The AARP estimates that family caregivers provide $450 Billion in unpaid care annually, a staggering number that is testament to the confused state of long term care in the United States. Most people simply aren’t prepared for a long term care scenario, and must rely on family members for care during their time of need.

The Professional Care Management Program was publicly announced last week in an article on Emory’s online news center. A workshop about the new employer-sponsored benefit will be held this Thursday, November 4. The employee benefit program officially debuted last Friday, November 1.

Program’s Purpose

According to the news release, 15% of Emory employees report that they werelong term care responsible for the care of an adult loved one in a 2010 Emory needs assessment. The number of employees who anticipate the job of care giving in their future was closer to 60 percent.

To help address this growing demographic of family caregivers, the university plans to provide “enhanced support” for these employees and their families who are faced with different issues pertaining to care giving, whether it is nearby or at a distance.

LifeCare, a work-life services provider, will be leading the program. Audrey Adelson, a workLife consultant, explained the growing need for these kinds of services in the workplace.

“Many people don’t understand the long-term benefits of having a professional care manager perform a thorough evaluation and produce a care plan to help them manage their loved one’s care,” Adelson said.

Providing care to a family member or other loved one often brings with it a lot of stress, confusion, and exhaustion. Figuring out just what your loved one needs can be tricky, especially if you are providing care long distance. This program will help employees better understand the dynamics of providing care and the various steps that are necessary to ensure success, while offering support and assistance.

Other Help

For those who aren’t fortunate enough to work for an employer who provides this kind of benefit, they must prepare for the possibility of long term care in different ways. Whether it is their own care or the care of a loved one, readying yourself for the potential situation will help smooth the process when the time comes. Long term care insurance is a retirement planning tool that more people are turning to in order to help protect their health and assets from the high toll of long term care.

Most good long term care insurance policies offer Care Coordination, which is essentially the same service as professional care management provided by employers. The Care Coordinator assists the claimant with a number of tasks, including identifying needs, assessing the situation, putting together a care plan, and monitoring the delivery of care. This benefit is indispensable during a time of confusion and uncertainty that often accompanies long term care.

Read more about Emory’s new care management benefit in their news release or find out more about the benefits provided by long term care insurance today.