Kathy Zadrozny of ZCI Woodworks in Islandia, left the elder care conference sponsored by Cona Elder Law, elder law and estate planning firm in Melville, armed with knowledge, less stress and inspired to help her employees and her own family with senior issues. “The workshop was a real eye opener,” said Kathy. “I’m so glad that I now know about all of the resources available as well as how to plan to preserve assets and still get the necessary health care services when needed.”
With 1.5 million caregivers on Long Island, most take time off from work as they are faced with overwhelming tasks in caring for an aging parent. Some of their concerns include medical bills, home health aides, long term care facilities and finding information about legal and financial matters. These stressful problems often lead to poor work quality, sporadic attendance and missed deadlines.
Elder care issues cost US employers $ 33.6 billion a year nationally in terms of lost productivity.
The Cona Elder Law Human Resource Conference “Elder Caregiving: Is It Sapping Your Employees and Your Bottom Line?” recently held at The Bristal Assisted Living in Northport, gave HR professionals and business owners valuable tools and techniques for their employees to help reduce absenteeism, downtime and turnover as well as promote productivity and job security.
At the conference, moderator Aoifa O’Donnell, CEO, National EAP, said “Companies need to create a culture where employees feel comfortable and safe to talk about their problems with regard to caring for aging parents. Retention of key employees is critical and short term accommodations need to be made especially when they are in a crisis situation.”
Melissa Negrin-Wiener, Esq., partner, Cona Elder Law, explained many elder care resources available, such as support groups, geriatric care managers, Susan C. Snowe Resource Center at Cona Elder Law, and local senior centers, as well as care options, such as adult day care, assisted living, home care and more. She also discussed the value in planning early to protect assets so that Medicaid can be used to pay for care at home or care in a nursing home. Ms. Negrin-Wiener discussed protecting assets in a crisis as well as planning ahead with the use of living trusts. “For those who don’t plan ahead, there is a vehicle known as the promissory note that will preserve about half of your assets,” says Ms. Negrin-Wiener.
Another important topic presented by Jim Hoolahan, president, Employee Care Resources, concerned the benefits of long term care insurance and how it works. “Long Term Care coverage is very flexible and can be customized to meet the needs and budget of most people,” explained Mr. Hoolahan. “An individual should have assets to protect and all policies are health underwritten.”
Cona Elder Law also introduced a new corporate program called TAWC – Tools and Advice for Working Caregivers. The employee benefits program is designed to keep employee caregivers on the job and maximize their productivity. With no cost to the employer, some of the services include: free onsite educational programs, mini-sessions to speak privately with an elder law attorney as to a caregiver’s specific situation and a 10% employee discount on all elder law and estate planning services.
For more information on TAWC, contact Cona Elder Law at 631-390-5000.
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm was ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys are frequent contributors to Newsday’s Act II “Ask the Expert” column and have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, News 55, Channel 21 "Act II With Newsday" and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM and WFAN.