Educational Needs of Employed Family Caregivers of Older Adults: Evaluation of a Workplace Project

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Family members provide 80% of care for older adults in the United States. Many family caregivers are employed either full or part time. For employed caregivers, personal health, job performance, and the ability to advance their career are affected by the weight of their caregiving responsibilities. Some find it necessary to quit their jobs. Employed caregivers report a need for caregiving information; however, they seldom think of their workplace as a valuable resource. Results of the second of a 3-phase research and service project are discussed. Based on a needs assessment completed by employees of a large institution, educational sessions were offered during 3 consecutive months. Thirty-five employees attended 1 or more sessions. The sessions were evaluated highly on a 5-point Likert-type scale for usefulness of information, quality of presentation, and value of session. Sharing project results with the employing institution's human resources department yielded commitment to integrate caregiver education and referral into a newly organized work-life program. When properly managed, such workplace programs can provide needed assistance to employed caregivers. A nurse working with older adults is an ideal provider to initiate and manage this kind of program.

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