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   Date: 10/7/10 Bookmark and Share

New Elder Care Resource for Staff and Faculty

With a grant from the American Council on Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Smith’s Center for Work & Life has launched a new Web site to help Smith staff and faculty with the challenges of providing or procuring appropriate care for an elder, from the occasional visit with a home health aide to full-time nursing home care and everything in between. Elder care has become a common and pressing concern not only for Smith faculty and staff, but for the workforce in general. A 2009 survey conducted at Smith by the Sloan Foundation showed that twelve percent of Smith faculty members already spend more than three hours a week on elder care and that nearly half of the faculty struggle to balance their workloads with the responsibilities of caring for elderly parents.

This new comprehensive site represents a new direction for the Center for Work & Life, which until now has been aimed primarily at preparing students for the work-life balance issues they will face upon graduation. It provides the tools for assessing an elder’s needs and addresses financial and legal issues, assists with sorting out different types of care, and navigates the myriad elder resources available in the U.S. The site does not advocate for any type of care, nor for any facility or organization mentioned in the guide. It serves as an introduction to the range of possibilities, focusing on government and nonprofit organizations and resources.

The Center for Work & Life welcomes feedback and comments, which you may send to Sue Briggs in the Office of the Dean of the College.

Staff and faculty are invited to participate in a discussion about the new site on November 10, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Smith College Conference Center. Beverages and snacks will be served.    

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