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“Today’s Caregiver” recognizes Hospice of Northwest Ohio with 2014 Caregiver Friendly® Award

Published Friday, July 18, 2014 by Barb Sharek

Today’s Caregiver, the first national magazine for family and professional caregivers--and its associated website, caregiver.com--recently announced that Hospice of Northwest Ohio is a recipient of its 2014 Caregiver Friendly® Award. Though Hospice has long provided free community programs to educate and support those caring for ill or aged loved ones, the award specifically recognizes Hospice of Northwest Ohio for its new program, The Balancing Act: Help for Employee Caregivers.

Program Brings Support to the Workplace

Two-thirds of all family caregivers are active in the workforce. Sixty to seventy percent of them spend 20 hours a week providing unpaid care for someone when they are not at work.  Fatigue and family demands often lead to leaves of absence, a reduction in work hours, early retirement or departure from the workplace entirely. This is not only difficult for the worker, but equally as concerning for U.S. employers who lose an estimated $180 billion annually due to lost productivity and increased illness among staff who are caregivers.

“Offering supportive educational programs to employee caregivers can help them learn how to seek help, become more organized, and improve self-care,” explains Hospice of Northwest Ohio employer outreach coordinator Carol Durnwald, RN, MSN.  “This helps create a healthier, more productive employee and caregiver.

“Though  employers would like to be supportive, they often are not aware of the personal challenges their staffs are facing, or simply don’t know how they can help,” says Carol. “The Balancing Act: Help for Employee Caregivers is making employers aware of stressors and demands caregivers experience and--through on-site lunch and learn programs and off-site workshops--helps employed family caregivers gain the insight and information needed to help create more balance at home and in the workplace.”

About Hospice of Northwest Ohio

Serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan since 1981, Hospice of Northwest Ohio was the first licensed hospice in Ohio and has provided end-of -life care and support for more than 46,000 terminally ill patients and their families. In addition, end-of-life education has always been part of its mission – both for the community and medical professionals in the region.

If you are a caregiver who needs help—or an employer who wants to help!—contact Janet Miller, MA, LPCC at 419-931-5193 or jmiller@hospicenwo.org.

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