Source 3: Corporate Elder Care - Tips & Success Stories
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Source 3: Corporate Elder Care - Tips & Success Stories

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Three Case Studies

Connecticut Community Care

Connecticut Community Care, Inc, (CCCI) is the largest care management service for the elderly and individuals with disabilities in Connecticut. Before the recession, CCCI had contracts for care management services with local businesses for their employed family caregivers. President Molly Gavin offers her lessons learned:

  • Develop more focused skills in identifying what the customers want.
    Your preconceived notions may not be what the employer is looking for. Care management is no longer a warm and fuzzy service. You need to do more cost-benefit analysis and think about the bottom line for your agency and for local businesses. Look for ways to do what you do more efficiently. For example, a company may only be willing to pay 25% of the cost for care management, typically six hours in someone’s home. See what services could be unbundled and offer them at a company site instead of directly at people’s homes. For example, you might offer a company two-hour on-site consultation for each employee. 

  • Don’t stray from your expertise and mission.
    Don’t scramble to create what a business may want. It will cost more in the long run. Know when to walk away.

  • Nurture relationships with local businesses—in good times and bad.
    This will allow you to seize opportunities when they present themselves. There are many ways local businesses can get involved with your agency. For example, a person from one company can introduce you to another company or people of influence. Or a relative of one of your clients, who happens to be a CEO, may want to serve on your board of directors or participate in your corporate interest committee. 

National Alliance for Caregiving

Gail Hunt, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, has conducted corporate elder care research for the National Institute on Aging and Social Security Administration, developed training for caregivers with AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association, and designed a corporate elder care program for the Employee Assistance Professional Association. Here are her tips for nonprofits interested in offering corporate elder care services:

  • Businesses want a turnkey operation.
    Nonprofits need to look at corporate elder care with a new perspective. Employers are often more interested in elder and child care, not just elder care. Team-up with a respected child care agency and offer “the whole nine yards.”

  • Worklife is out and wellness is in.
    Worklife benefits are seen as expendable, while health promotion programs have taken on a higher profile. Nonprofit aging services should offer on-site wellness programs for people aged 40+ and baby boomers, not just family caregivers. Remove the aging spin, and you might get more traction.

  • Redefine who the client is.
    Professionals in the aging network often see low-income, vulnerable older persons as their clients. In corporate elder care, the client should be the employer. Existing programs and services need to be more responsive and revamped to meet employers’ and employees’ needs. For example, adult day care centers have to alter their hours of operation from 9-5 to longer hours to accommodate workers’ commutes and work hours.

  • Seek beyond human resources.
    A company’s human resource budget may be shrinking, but there might be a medical director or a program for wellness/health promotion housed somewhere other than in human resources, with a budget that may not be plump, but it may not be dried-up either.

  • Collect data now to make a good business case later.
    Explore research that will help you create the business case for corporate elder care services.

ElderLife Planning Option

ElderLife Planning Option (ELPO) has 350 corporate clients in the Boston area, as well as a handful of national companies. It has a local provider network that offers consultation and referral services and a national database of service providers.

One example is the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Boston, which provides corporate elder care services to a large law firm. It also provides 1,000 flu shot clinics each year to 400 local companies. VNA plans to leverage those relationships to see if more companies would like to receive corporate elder care services, as well. 

Bob O’ Toole, creator of ELPO, also is trying a new market for elder care services—community banks. In his model, ELPO and a local nonprofit partner charge a community bank with 50,000 depositors 50 cents per month per depositor for elder care services. For less than the cost of free checking, offering this service could be a low-cost marketing strategy for banks to attract and retain older bank customers.

Forty cents go to ELPO, and 10 cents go to the local nonprofit. This arrangement could generate $60,000 per year in revenue for a nonprofit. Any margin would depend on how much additional expense the nonprofit would incur for delivering these services.

 

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