In two previous blog postings (Where Are Those Stand-Alone Elder Care Benefits? and Timing is Right for an EAP and Work-Life Consumer Play) I wrote about the growing market potential for elder care benefits in the workplace. Part of my reasoning for this prediction (besides the obvious caregiving statistics that support the market opportunity) is based on my own background in the employee benefits space. But it is also based on my personal caregiving experience (for my mom) and as a result, knowing what a huge productivity drain caregiving can be for employees.
In my situation, I am a long distance caregiver. I'm not alone. Close to 6 million Americans live more than an hour away from an aging parent or loved one that they are caring for. This number will increase, as by 2030 one of every five Americans will be over age 65. These caregivers find themselves responsible for communicating with doctors and family members, coordinating medical appointments, monitoring prescriptions, managing insurance claims and much more on behalf of their aging loved ones. All this while simultaneously trying to live their own lives and raise their own families. But I'm lucky because I have family living close to my mom, a lot of support, and based on my knowledge of elder care benefits (from my previous work experience) I can access resources that many caregivers may not be aware of. But most caregivers are not so lucky.
Anyway, while caring for my mom, I was inspired to create a web site that would benefit other people caring for aging loved ones - especially long distance caregivers. The site is named after my mother and the concept of a community bulletin "board" (ShirleyBOARD.com), where people post and share information.
The site is free and will always be free.
If you know of anyone caring for an aging parent, you may consider sharing this site with them. They might find it useful.
Thanks for your time.
Posted by Mark Willaman
Labels: caregiving, Elder Care, shirleyboard