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Positive Detroit
http://positivedetroit.blogspot.com/2009/04/wci-of-birmingham-offers-caregiver.html


For Immediate Release---April 1, 2009

New Non-Profit Group Offers Support, Education, and Training for Working Caregivers

Growing Population of Working Caregivers Need Support to Deal with Stress, Responsibility and the Challenges of Taking Care of One or Both Parents

 

Birmingham, MI--- More than 1.3 million people in Michigan qualify as a working caregiver, which is anyone who holds a job and takes on the duties to care for one or both parents. The Working Caregiver Initiative (WCI) is a non-profit created to address and assist this growing group of people by offering free support, training and education.

 

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 25% of American families are now providing care for someone over the age of 65, in their home.  This stressor causes increased health risks, a greater chance for developing depression or anxiety, and even speeds the aging process. In some cases, this can affect the person providing care, to the point of reducing one’s life expectancy by up to 10 years. This can lead to chronic absenteeism, presenteeism, and even poor performance due to the working caregiver feeling overwhelmed.  Moreover 10% of working caregivers eventually cut back to part-time work or even leave the workforce altogether.

 

“The Working Caregiver Initiative (WCI) was created to provide quality support, education, and training for those who are both family caregivers and working professionals,” says Bert Copple, the President and creator of the WCI program.

 

“I worry about my mom being home by herself,” says Jeana Rea of Warren, Michigan.  “My husband works 50 plus hours a week, my kids have school and sporting events, and I’m working as well.  It can be stressful, but we have to do it to make ends meet.  Being able to proactively care for my mom’s needs is a big deal, and the WCI program has helped.”

 

Copple says Jeana, and thousands of others like her, are part of a new generation that must make proactive care-giving decisions. They have made the choice to keep mom or dad safe at home, while they spouses work and manage the household.

 

“No one has more on their plate than a mom or dad who has to provide care for their children while reversing roles with their parents to manage mom’s incontinence or dad’s dementia care,” adds Copple.  “Because the family dynamics have changed so dramatically, and will continue to change as this tsunami of seniors come of age, employers needs to better look to support, educate, and train their working caregivers so that they retain those who are key to their survival in this economy.”

 

Over the next 14 years, the number of people at or beyond the age of 50 will increase by 74%, while those under the age of 50 will increase by a mere 1%.  The bottom line is there will be fewer professional caregivers to provide care, putting a greater strain on working caregivers to pull double duty.

 

“The WCI works to help working caregivers self-identify themselves as caregivers,” says Copple. According to the National Family Caregivers Association, 90% of family caregivers become more proactive about seeking skills and resources they need once they have identified themselves as a working caregiver.  In the work force, it can be as easy as offering an employee assistance program that can help employees make that connection.

Full Release Here


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For Immediate Release---April 1, 2009
One Non-profit’s Mission: Helping Michigan Businesses Overcome $33.6 Billion Annual Loss in Productivity
Working Caregiver Initiative Offers an Employee Assistance Program Providing Free Support, Education, and Training

 

Media Contact: Erin Robinson, 248.342.4415 or erin@howdelicious.com

 

Birmingham, MI---While Michigan businesses are being challenged and looking to cut back on expenses, one non-profit is helping employers and their employees increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and think proactively in a reactive world.  For Michigan’s 1.3 million family caregivers, the program is long overdue.

 

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, more than 25% of American families are now providing care for someone over the age of 65, in their home.  This stressor causes increased health risks, a greater chance for developing depression or anxiety, and even speeds the aging process. In some cases, this can affect the person providing care, to the point of reducing one’s life expectancy by up to 10 years. This can lead to chronic absenteeism, presenteeism, and even poor performance due to the working caregiver feeling overwhelmed.  Moreover 10% of working caregivers eventually cut back to part-time work or even leave the workforce altogether.

 

“The Working Caregiver Initiative (WCI) was created to provide quality support, education, and training for those who are both family caregivers and working professionals,” says Bert Copple, the President and creator of the WCI program.

 

“I worry about my mom being home by herself,” says Jeana Rea of Warren, Michigan.  “My husband works 50 plus hours a week, my kids have school and sporting events, and I’m working as well.  It can be stressful, but we have to do it to make ends meet.  Being able to proactively care for my mom’s needs is a big deal, and the WCI program has helped.”

 

Copple says Jeana, and thousands of others like her, are part of a new generation that must make proactive care-giving decisions. They have made the choice to keep mom or dad safe at home, while they spouses work and manage the household.

 

“No one has more on their plate than a mom or dad who has to provide care for their children while reversing roles with their parents to manage mom’s incontinence or dad’s dementia care,” adds Copple.  “Because the family dynamics have changed so dramatically, and will continue to change as this tsunami of seniors come of age, employers needs to better look to support, educate, and train their working caregivers so that they retain those who are key to their survival in this economy.”

 

Over the next 14 years, the number of people at or beyond the age of 50 will increase by 74%, while those under the age of 50 will increase by a mere 1%.  The bottom line is there will be fewer professional caregivers to provide care, putting a greater strain on working caregivers to pull double duty.

 

“The WCI works to help working caregivers self-identify themselves as caregivers,” says Copple. According to the National Family Caregivers Association, 90% of family caregivers become more proactive about seeking skills and resources they need once they have identified themselves as a working caregiver.  In the work force, it can be as easy as offering an employee assistance program that can help employees make that connection.

 

 

Full Press Release