Elder Care Back-Up Service Solves One Problem for Caregivers


Most caregivers of elderly parents have found themselves in this situation at one time or another: A work deadline looms, and the home health aide, nurse, or other caregiver scheduled to look after your parent cancels. Or maybe your parent lives independently most of the time, but a health emergency now calls for her to have round-the-clock care. It’s short notice, you’ve used up all your sick and personal days, and you can’t afford the time off without pay.

Ideally, the agency you work with, if your usual caregiver cancelled last minute, can simply send someone else. But what if you don’t have a usual caregiver and this need for elder care was sprung on you at the last minute?

Two major senior care providers, Bright Horizons and Care.com, are offering solutions. You can contact either company and hire back-up senior care from qualified providers with clean background checks fairly quickly. But if your employer offers “back-up care” it may be even easier, and less expensive, for you to line up help in a hurry.

What Is Back-Up Senior Care?
Back-up senior care is a service offered through a provider and paid for, in part, by your employer. The same way you receive medical benefits and then get health care from a service provider, your employer pays into a plan through Bright Horizons or Care.com so you can take advantage of the company’s back-up care services.

If your regular senior care provider falls through, calls out, or is unavailable, or if you don’t normally require senior care but circumstances arise that make it necessary, you can call to set up emergency help, even that morning.

How Much Does It Cost?
Costs vary but, like a healthcare plan, your employer pays for a portion of the benefit and you pay the balance. Unlike healthcare, you only pay when you use the service. No money is taken from your paycheck to subsidize the benefit.

The cost to use back-up care through your employer is much less than it might be if you were to hire back-up care on your own. And you have the peace-of-mind of knowing that all providers are working through a licensed, insured company and have passed background checks and a rigorous hiring process. That’s a lot better than asking your unemployed neighbor to “check in on Dad” every few hours.

Steps Toward a More Family-Friendly Workplace
For several years now, employers have recognized the value of providing childcare options for employees in homes where both parents work. But adults caring for aging parents do not always receive the same understanding or support.

Back-up care benefits are an important first step, not just for the families it will help today, but as part of a movement toward employers recognizing that the need to make senior care easier for working adults is as important as providing fair maternity leave or accommodating parents with children when they need time off.

If your employer doesn’t offer back-up care benefits, it’s possible they aren’t aware of how easy and affordable it is to do so. You can make a difference, not just for yourself but other adult children of seniors, by letting your HR department know how back-up care benefits can reduce stress and improve productivity in the workplace.

SeniorLiving.Net is a free service for families to use that are looking for senior care or senior living for a loved one. Call (866) 662-0435 to speak to your local Care Advisor about senior care providers in your local area.