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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Eldercare Issues Challenge Employees and Employers

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

According to a 2004 national care giver survey, 44 million Americans are caring for a parent or other elderly dependant.

Sixty percent of those care givers are employed. As baby boomers hit 65 and beyond, the need for eldercare will increase dramatically. It will be critical for companies to develop creative business solutions and share best practices as more and more employees face the challenge of balancing work with eldercare.

Some estimates say eldercare issues cost U.S. employers as much as $29 billion dollars annually. For the employee, the financial and emotional impact of caring for an elderly relative is often significant, forcing them to take time off, pass up promotions or assignments, retire early, or even leave the work force.

Employee Assistance Programs can provide much-needed support for people struggling to balance work and family obligations. THR’s employee assistance program recently helped one of our people find care for her father who lives out-of-state. This was a great source of help in a stressful time.

THR believes that the work place should help support employees – body, mind and spirit. If we care for one another as co-workers, then our customers – patients and their families – will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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