KIRKLAND, Wash. — In uncertain times, older, experienced employees are the ones companies want to keep. But these seasoned people may leave of their own accord. Or they may start taking time off. Why? “A large percentage have aging parents who break a hip or develop dementia, suddenly needing constant attention,” says Mario Sestito, Director of Business Development for LTC Financial Partners, the nation’s most experienced long term care insurance agency.
“If these senior employees can’t afford professional care, they take time off to provide the care themselves. Or they quit to become full-time caregivers.” Best case, he adds, they stay on the job in a distracted state of mind.
“It’s a serious, growing problem,” Sestito asserts. “We work with a lot of organizations, and the water cooler talk isn’t about childcare anymore; it’s about eldercare.” The solution, he says, is long term healthcare planning.
Sestito’s agency offers a new tool called the LTC Outreach and Education Program(TM) (LTCOEP(TM)), utilized by many U.S. companies. At no cost, the program puts employees through a crash course in long term healthcare planning.
LTCOEP(TM) helps workers and managers cope with the productivity-draining prospect of caring for family members, usually aging parents, who can no longer care for themselves. Some “graduates” end up securing long term care insurance; others set up savings plans to handle future care needs.
The eldercare issue is seriously affecting bottom lines. Through a combination of attrition, absenteeism, and reduced productivity, “Large companies are losing tens of millions each, every year, and smaller ones are losing from thousands to tens of thousands,” says Sestito.
He bases his estimates on a 2006 study conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute(R). “These losses can be stopped cold, and it doesn’t have to cost the company anything.”
LTCOEP(TM) is offered free to companies, non-profit organizations, and community groups of all sizes. Information is available at — http://ltcfp.us/ltcfp/long-term-healthcare-planning.html.