Past generations typically saw disruptions at work when children got sick and parents needed to leave to take care of them. It was a natural, widely expected event. Many large employers instituted on-site child daycare to manage untimely employee absences.
However, Boomers are dealing with an entirely different scenario. They are truly “sandwiched” between kids (even grandkids) and their aging parents. More and more often, disruptions at work are due to senior-related health issues; many of which are catastrophic events. When a child has a cold, it may last a day or two. When an 81-year-old Mom falls and breaks a hip, it can require weeks or months of caregiving, coordinating doctor visits, and medication management. Fortunately, technology can play a key role in relieving the inevitable stress that comes with managing care, but it can also play a huge role in the prevention of illness and injury, to begin with.
How can employers contribute to the reduction of absenteeism due to aging parents? They should guide employees down the path of least resistance; including educating employees about remote monitoring and caregiving options. Some employers may even help pay for both through an HSA or other similar plans (they must be dependents and you must verify on your own if you/they would qualify).
Employer Assistance Programs (EAPs) are available throughout the country and provide access to many types of assistance for those dealing with a variety of challenges. Absenteeism due to aging parents will continue to be a growing phenomenon that will become a primary issue in the workplace. As a partner in selecting the right technology for aging seniors, Silver Maple Solutions is striving to become a resource for EAPs as they navigate the sandwiched generation.