Workplace help available for family Alzheimer’s caregivers

Credit: Kaitlin Schroeder

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Alzheimer's caregivers face significant burdens in the workplace.

Credit: Kaitlin Schroeder

About 100,000 Miami Valley residents serve as unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers for loved ones, many of whom work day jobs and require the right support to stay in the workplace.

Adapting workplace culture to identify and support Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers and the challenges they face is key to organizational survival, according to the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter.

“In a lot of cases, it’s a silent battle by our employees, because they’re afraid of their job security, they’re afraid of being judged as less than their peers, and for somebody who is in a competitive environment, they don’t want to be passed over,” said Karen Carter, vice president of development for the local chapter.

More than one in six Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers quit work entirely because of caregiving burdens; 18% had to go from working full time to part time; 16% had to take a leave of absence; and 8% turned down a promotion due to the burden of caregiving, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Among female caregivers, 17% believe they have been penalized at work because of the need to care for someone with Alzheimer’s.

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Caregiving can slowly progress into a more and more significant commitment, which leave workers struggling to maintain their work schedule or having trouble focusing when they are at work.

“For employers, the way to be proactive is to create an environment where your employees feel very comfortable that there is a solution and there is an opportunity for them to get help,” Carter said.

The chapter is holding a free “Impact of Caregiving in the Workplace” panel to address this growing reality at an event this morning at the NCR Country Club, 4435 Dogwood Trail, Dayton. Networking is 8 to 8:30 a.m., followed by a panel from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

A recording following the event will be posted at their ALZ YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/3iulZ1v.

Speakers are Leslie Ryan, Founder, S2S Strategy; Derrick Ransom, Key Private Bank market manager – Dayton senior VP; Jennifer Loveless, Key Bank senior relationship manager and senior vice president; Eric VanVlymen, executive director for the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter, and Bridget Flaherty, founder of Lore Storytelling.

Besides the panel, the association also has free online training for different caregiving and Alzheimer’s related topics, which can be found at alz.org/dayton.

Additionally, for help on resources as a caregiver or for how to better help employees, call the Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley Chapter’s 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

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