The role of employment benefits and community supports

The role of employment benefits and community supports

Whether or not your employee can and wants to stay in the workplace upon receiving a dementia diagnosis, they will require information about how staying or leaving the workplace will affect them. 

Many people diagnosed with dementia while employed are not financially or personally prepared to exit the workplace. Their dementia diagnosis may bring up more or different financial expenses for them, including immediate and future support, services, and care.

If you are an employer that offers employment benefits, including health and wellness benefits and/or retirement and financial planning, it is important that your employee receive information to determine how these benefits apply to them.

In some instances, depending on the employee’s age, length of service, and employment benefits, it may be in the employee’s best interest to exit the organization upon receiving a dementia diagnosis. In other instances, it will be in both the employee and employer’s best interest for the employee to stay in the workforce for as long as possible.

If your employee does not have access to employment benefits, either because of the nature of their role or they are not offered by your organization, you may still be able to assist your employee. Consider talking to or connecting your employee with a benefits consulting service in your area. An experienced benefits consultant will be able to advise you and/or your employee on the types of personal and, if you have the means, employer-provided benefits packages and services that will offer various forms of relief to your employee. These packages and services can include health and wellness benefits, second medical opinions, life, long-term, and short-term disability programs, retirement and financial planning, and more. 

Regardless of your organization’s employment benefits, it is always helpful to provide your employee with information about local, accessible community-based programs, services, and support available to them. These programs, services, and support can often be quite different from employer-offered programs, services, and support. For example, community-based offerings may include dementia education, care partner training and relief, and support groups. Your employee may also find access to other types of community-based offerings valuable, such as:

  • Doctors and other types of health clinics
  • Mental health services
  • Brain health resources
  • Financial and retirement planning
  • Legal services (e.g., employment law, will, power of attorney, personal directive)
  • Accessing health and extended health treatments (e.g., occupational therapy, physical therapy, dietary, psychology)
  • Spiritual care
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Service and support for people with dementia and their care partners