Did you know? One out of six working Americans assists with the care of an older adult or disabled family member, relative or friend according to Family Caregiver Alliance.

The number of family caregivers in the U.S. continues to grow. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP’s Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 report, from 2015 to 2020 the number of family caregivers in the U.S. increased by 9.5 million, and 61 percent of family caregivers work.

Handling both work and family caregiving is a difficult balancing act. Employees who are family caregivers may experience the need to take time off from work, reduce their work hours, turn down a promotion, take a leave of absence, or even give up work entirely. Workplace programs can be invaluable, to both employers and employees in helping those who are helping others such as an aging parent, spouse, child or grandchild.

Old Colony Elder Services (OCES) helps caregivers navigate one of life’s hardest but most rewarding jobs through the Family Caregiver Support Program. The goal of this program is to reassure family caregivers that they are not alone and that resources are available to assist them in their caregiving. Employers throughout greater Plymouth County may provide access to the OCES Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) to their employees to help them obtain information, tools and support they may need. Each employee situation is unique and complex and OCES helps employees by directing them to the right resources available to them and guiding them as caregivers.

OCES’ FCSP team provides one-on-one support to working family caregivers by creating a personalized caregiving care plan outlining available resources (which includes OCES programs as well as community resources) that are applicable to their caregiving situation. Within the personalized care plan, OCES provides individual support creating short- and long-term plans, as well as three referrals for every need. OCES also provides assistance in the creation of realistic boundaries in the promotion of self-care. The resources provided may include access to caregiver support groups as well as educational workshops or programs that share techniques to help family caregivers with stress reduction, time management, goal setting, problem-solving, relaxation and more.  The FCSP can also provide financial assistance helping caregivers obtain supplies, equipment, and access to respite services to alleviate some of the financial strain that most caregivers have to deal with.

The OCES team can meet with working family caregivers in-person or via conference call at their convenience.  FCSP can also offer “Lunch and Learn Trainings” during employees’ lunch hour to support local businesses.  OCES’ Family Caregiver Support Program service area includes: Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Easton, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Middleboro, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rockland, Stoughton, Wareham, West Bridgewater, and Whitman. For more contact OCES at 508-584-1561.

Family Caregiver Alliance. (2022). Caregiver Statistics: Work and Caregiving. https://www.caregiver.org/resource/caregiver-statistics-work-and-caregiving/?via=research-policy,research-and-reports

National Alliance for Caregiving. (2022). 2020 Report. https://www.caregiving.org/research/caregiving-in-the-us/caregiving-in-the-us-2020/