Hope for Family Caregivers Who Give So Much

Originally posted by the Silvernest Team on their blog, Apr 9, 2018 1:52:56 PM

The Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act offers some help for family caregivers

By Carol Marak

Back in 1998 through 2007, my sisters and I cared for our parents. Our mother lived with several chronic diseases, and father lived with Alzheimer’s disease. We were among America’s 40 million family caregivers. At the time, I was working full-time but both sisters were retired.

It’s difficult to combine caregiving and working because both are full-time. I’ve often heard the saying, “There’s no leaving the job at 5:00 PM, an employee will always bring the workday home.” I found out as a caregiver, the same goes for elder care, “A family caregiver never leaves the worry and stress about parent care in the home, they’ll bring the concerns and issues with them to work.” That was my story. It was difficult to separate the two.

Each day, I prayed to win the lotto so I could be with my parents, since their care demanded a lot of assistance. I asked HR for Family Medical Leave but was rejected. Back in early 2000, HR didn’t get how elder care was such an issue, however, they could relate to child care much easier.

In June of 2017, I praised Congress for passing the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.” Hooray for families! And on January 22nd, the US President signed into law the RAISE Family Caregivers Act. It’s the first step in creating a national strategy aimed at the relatives and partners who provide care.

How the Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act can Help

One of the goals of RAISE is to increase financial security for family caregivers — it’s a much needed support for those of us giving care. I know the types of financial supports I’d like to have seen back in my caregiving days, like earned credits in Social Security if I took a leave of absence. Also, work-related strategies like telecommute, or part-time and flexible hours would have been a big relief. But that was early to mid-2000’s. Today, employers and HR departments tilt in favor of elderly caregiving.

Here are other examples that the Seniorcare.com Aging Council hope to see in the near future:

Advice from home care experts

How experts feel the RAISE Act can help

  • “Provide a Social Security earnings credit to family caregivers who take unpaid time away from employment, either by leaving their job or reducing hours. This prevents future Social Security benefits from being penalized due to caregiving. 2) Expand government programs that pay family caregivers. 3) Expand benefits programs and tax credits that help with out-of-pocket caregiving expenses.” Connie Chow, DailyCaring.com
  • Many family caregivers give up jobs to be able to care for an aging or ailing family member. Being able to access Medicare or another medical insurance program would allow them to take care of themselves as well as someone else. Further, if a caregiver, usually a woman, stops working, her retirement is jeopardized. Most programs for the elderly/caregivers are for those who qualify for Medicaid, thus eliminating benefits for those who are over the Medicaid limit and they are the ones who need help the most.” Donna Schempp, LCSW At Home with Growing Older.
  • “One of my clients who works for a large law firm has a HR department that does many of the phone calls and research family caregivers often need to do during work hours.” Margo Rose, BodyAwareGrieving.com
  • “A lump sum policy can be used to pay relatives or partners providing home-based custodial care. Since Medicare does not pay for custodial care, we recommend lump sum first diagnosis (cancer/heart attack/stroke) insurance and/or a whole life policy. A whole life policy that has accumulated cash value can also assure financial security for family caregivers and allow seniors to remain in their home.” Maureen Fitzgerald, Ph.D., BestMedigapRate.com
  • “The problem with the current support services and financial reimbursement for caregivers is that it all runs through the Medicaid system. You have to be already impoverished to get the little bit of help offered. Opening Adult Day Care centers and offering financial help through unemployment insurance or social security to people above the Medicaid limits would go a long way to provide financial security. It doesn’t seem possible though with Social Security already under attack.” Caren Isaacs , GetHealthHelp.com
  • “Financial security will become a major problem in the United States given current demographic predictions. Individuals are outliving their retirement savings and have, in general, not saved enough for the astronomical cost of home care. I believe that advanced planning is advised so that as many contingencies are covered as is possible. Working with a professional financial planner as early in the aging process as is practicable would be wise.” Marci Lobel-Esrig, Silverbills.com
  • “One of the biggest issues that arise when relatives and partners step in as caregivers is that they typically have to give up some earning capacity. They’re investing hours to care for loves ones and sacrificing compensation as they do. There must be formal measures in place to help make up for that lost income, and it would seem that tax incentives and tax credits would be a natural place to start.” Wendi Burkhardt, Silvernest.com
  • “Education! Every family should understand the financial implications associated with caring for an elderly or disabled loved one. Education should at a minimum include estimates of realistic costs associated with care, general information about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, and the importance of purchasing long-term care insurance well in advance of any potential need.” Eboni Green, CaregiverSupportServices.com

The RAISE Family Caregiving Act is finally here and one that America’s first responders in elderly care are eager to see what’s next.

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Creating The Right Working Environment In Your Business

There are a myriad of reasons why it’s crucial to create the right working environment in your business, including maintaining high productivity and motivation, retaining the best staff, and avoiding accidents, as well as lawsuits. Happily, you can read all about how to create such an environment below.

Managing health and safety

Firstly, when it comes to creating the right environment in your business, it’s essential that you look after your employees’ health and safety. Of course, this can require quite diverse strategies, but the main idea is that your workers aren’t put in danger because of the tasks you ask them to do, or the behavior of anyone else on site.

To that end, health and safety may deal with things like adequately training and educating employees on the safe way to operate machinery, or enforcing a zero tolerance policy of drug use.

The latter being something that you can use testing facilities to help you achieve. After all, if you make it clear to all of your employees that there are regular drug tests the incidence of use and so the risk involved with this in the workplace will be significantly reduced.

Dealing with bullying

To create the right working environment, you also need to look after your employee’s psychological well being. One of the most important ways of doing this is to deal with any incident of bullying in the workplace, as this can not only affect your workers mental well being but also have a seriously detrimental effect on moral as well.

Of course, the key here is to empower people to be able to communicate effectively and resolve problems before they turn into victim-perpetrator situations. Although, once past a certain point, intervention by another party that reminds each party what company policy is, how they need to behave, and the consequences of not doing so can also be useful.

Employing the right people

Next, if you want the best working environment possible, it’s essential that you put some extra effort into screening and recruiting the right people.

In fact, this can be beneficial in several ways. In particular, in that by thoroughly assessing potential recruits personality type as well as their qualification for the job you can get a better mix of people on each team. Something that can make communication and interaction between them much more straightforward.

Praise not blame

Lastly, if you want the best environment possible in your business making an effort to change the culture is crucial. What I’m talking about here is a move away from a blame culture were the first thing that happens when something goes wrong is that one person or team gets thrown under the bus.

Instead, the idea is to work towards a culture of responsibility that is enhanced by encouraging praise for a job well done. This being something that can be an incredibly motivating and morale-boosting tool.

Of course such as seed change will take time to achieve. Yet, it’s well worth the effort as it can result in a fantastic working environment that will benefit both your employees and your business.

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What Does It Take To Make Humans Fly?

When you think about it, the leaps human beings have made in the science sector are truly incredible. We have all kinds of new technology under our belts, the kinds we only ever thought could be miracles sent from God a couple of hundred years ago, and they’re all thanks to a bit of modern science and its ability to experiment here and there!

And one of the biggest technological advances in the past hundred years or so has been the invention of the airplane. We can take to the skies now and fly as far as the fuel tank will take us, thousands of feet over the rest of the world. And yet, human beings were never made to fly!

Which is why it takes a lot for something like this to happen. So let’s explore the effort it takes to keep an entire plane in the sky, cruising on to different destinations all across the world.

It’s always a picturesque image, but how does it happen? (Image)

A Specialised Engine

The first thing that needs mentioning, when it comes to powering an airplane, is the engine. Jet engines are big affairs, are made by specialist (and often designer) manufacturers, and have a lot to answer for. After all, if you’re going to be flying through the air at a couple of hundred miles per hour, and you’re going to do so steadily with little turbulence, you need to have a warhorse of a core processor behind you!

Of course, a lot of things can fly without an engine, but they don’t tend to go very far, nor very high in the air around us. So by adding an engine into a winged vehicle, we have the capability to take to the skies, reaching speeds high enough to take off from the ground and keep going. The wings take it from there, and actually take us off into the sky above us,

The Right Tools

Next up we have the tools used to put an airplane together. It’s not something you’d immediately wonder at when thinking of flight, but they are a crucial part of the process.

Of course, you have your software tools first of all, to put together the entire design of the plane and make sure all the calculations for keeping you in the air are correct. But after that, when it comes to actually putting all the metal together, you’re going to need items such as Aerospace Cutting Tools. These include tools such as speed handles and magnets and mirrors, and a few standard wrenches and strong pliers here and there.

After that, it can just be a matter of using your local mechanic’s tool kit to get the job done. The inside of a car looks a lot like the inside of a plane, so there’s an idea of versatility here. Technological providers are all about accessibility!

Making humans fly is expensive and hard, but it’s a wonder of technology we should be thankful for.

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