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Solutions From St. Louis

July 31, 2009

While many workers are finding that employer-sponsored health and wellness services are being cut back, a few good-practices companies in the St. Louis area are leading the charge by offering a special program to employees who are caregivers. According to an article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Gail Appleson, Fred Webber Inc., a construction company, and Lewis & Clark Community College are two employers that have enrolled in Caring Workplace, a component of the Senior Solutions program, part of the St. Andrews Resources for Seniors System. Senior Solutions launched Caring Workplace in 2001 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging.  Employees who sign up for the program get unlimited free counseling, which can be done by phone, by email or face-to-face, and referral services from an elder care specialist to help with their ailing relative. A 10 percent discount for an in-home assessment and home health care services are other features of the plan. The program has two goals that are mutually beneficial: To limit the amount of lost time on the job for the caregiver and to provide the caregiver with the support she needs to manage family responsibilities.