Monthly Message from the Work-Life Director
November Greetings from the Director
Caring and Sharing
Is your organization ready to retain employees in their 80s?" asked futurist, Mary O'Hara-Deveraux, when speaking to Kentucky employers at a recent UK iWin Innovative Employer Roundtable Meeting. Author of Navigating the Badlands: Thriving in the Decade of Radical Transformation, Dr. OHara-Deveraux explained that extended life was perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century but hardly celebrated. Rather, we tend to focus on the perceived downside, such as the high costs of caring for a larger, older and dependent population. The good news is, with a health lifestyle, we can live longer, more vital lives that will include a second middle age at 60! The challenges will entail grappling with increased dependent care during a period when our rapidly changing economy will collide with social institutions that no longer match our new needs.
Increasing numbers of adult children are caring for their elderly parents (http://www.kentucky.com/216/story/555048.html). Accordingto U.S. census data, 3.6 million parents moved into the homes of their adult children last year. Increasingly, as the cost of living and health care increase, adult children are spending portions of their own income caring for their parents, often postponing their own retirement to make ends meet.
Fortunately at UK, there is help. Our Elder Care specialists provide individual consultations, support groups and on-going classes. Barry Russell was named Work-Life Supervisor of the Year for his proactive approach to elder care, helping his employees with flexible schedules to attend support groups. For more information, contact our Elder Care office.
Are you ready to work until your 80? Ongoing research suggests that we must be proactive in staying healthy and reducing stress if we are to live long and vital lives. Our Health and Wellness Program and Work-Life can provide support as you navigate through the exciting and challenging times that lay ahead.Robynn Pease, Work-Life Director