Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alzheimer's Hits the Workplace in a Big Way

The other day a group of social workers gathered informally and the discussion turned to Alzheimer's. More people are being diagnosed at an earlier age when they are still working. Today's Chicago Tribune illustrates the struggles of those diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease in an article about the tough choices that must be made by both employees and their employers and co-workers.

The article also taps into an even larger concern: caregivers trying to hold it all together at work while their loved one is mentally and maybe physically deteriorating at home. Consider this passage:

At Harris, Rothenberg International, a provider of employee-assistance programs for corporate clients, there has been a 100 percent increase since 2009 in the number of calls for help dealing with employees who have Alzheimer's or with employees who are saddled with demanding caretaking responsibilities for a loved one.

"The recession is keeping some people at work long after they intended to retire because they have to work," said Randy Martin, director of clinical services at Harris, Rothenberg. "A lot of people also want to keep working simply because of desire. Whatever the reason, employers are encountering more people with dementia in the workplace."
And this:
"Sixty percent of caregivers for people with dementia are employed full- or part-time," Martin said. "It's a major drain on their ability to focus at work. They need all kinds of support to help care for their parent or spouse or relative."
Many caregivers do not realize there's an option between in-home care and assisted living or a skilled nursing facility. Adult day care programs can bridge the gap in care while a spouse or adult child is at work. If you or someone you know is in this situation where the cost of caregiving is seriously impacting their ability to work, consider contacting one of our adult day care centers to determine if one of our programs is an ideal solution. You can contact us at 619-543-4700.

Article: Alzheimer's Forces Workers to Make Tough Choices

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