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SeniorAdvocate -- providing caregivers the support *they* need
|Issued by: ARAG Group
Date: May 16, 2001
|SeniorAdvocate -- Providing Caregivers the Support *They* Need
-- Voluntary Benefit Serves Legal, Financial and Eldercare Needs of Employees --
-- ARAG Group Teams with External Partners for Three-Tier Solution to Eldercare Issues --
DES MOINES, Iowa - May 15, 2001 - Eldercare is no longer a subject employers can ignore. To date, 69 million Americans are over the age of 65. And with the Baby Boomer generation inching closer to retirement each day, providing proper care for elders is an issue not on the horizon, but now directly in front of us.
Businesses nationwide are becoming all too familiar with the impact caregiving is having on their employees, and the bottom line. Consider the following:
-- Lost productivity from caregivers who are employed is estimated to be between $11.4 billion and $29 billion per year, according to the MetLife Study of Employer Costs for Working Caregivers.
-- Nearly 30 percent of the adult population was involved in caregiving duties over the past 12 months, according to the National Family Caregivers Association.
-- Half of employed caregivers reported taking time off, coming in later or working fewer hours, stated the National Alliance for Caregiving and the American Association of Retired Persons in a joint study.
-- The National Council on Aging found that nearly 7 million Americans are long-distance caregivers for older relatives.
Employers now have a viable alternative to combat these statistics. ARAG Group, the nation’s leading professional advisory plan administrator, introduces a product that satisfies the extensive needs of those dealing with caregiving issues. SeniorAdvocate is a voluntary benefit for employees, which has a three-pronged service approach: the product provides legal, financial planning and independent living services for individuals providing care for their elders.
“As an industry leader in legal advisory plans, we’ve established a basis of expertise in providing quality guidance in the legal services arena - one important component in the design of SeniorAdvocate,” said Jim Brennan, president of ARAG Group. “But we also realized that for SeniorAdvocate to be a comprehensive and quality product, we needed expertise in financial planning and day-to-day eldercare advice and consultation.”
ARAG Group partnered with two industry leaders - The Ayco Company, L.P., (www.ayco.com) to provide the financial planning and tax consulting component to SeniorAdvocate; and LifeCare, Inc., (www.lifecare.com) for the independent living portion of the product. LifeCare, a human services organization specializing in Life Event Management, helps employees manage the day-to-day challenges of their lives and the lives of their families - and in turn helps employers improve productivity, recruitment and retention.
“With legal, financial planning and eldercare services all including in the product, this ensures that SeniorAdvocate is the most inclusive employee benefit available in the marketplace to address the needs of caregivers,” Brennan added.
SeniorAdvocate Product Design
Employees who utilize SeniorAdvocate have access to three distinct areas:
-- Legal services - Members speak directly to attorneys who have an interest in eldercare and senior-related issues - either in person or over-the-phone - receiving direct consultation on a variety of legal topics. Lawyers comprising the SeniorAdvocate Attorney Network have more than 20 years experience in the practice of law.
-- Financial services - Individuals receive over-the-phone assistance from trained financial counselors on issues pertaining to immediate and long-term financial planning. From estate planning, to investment choices, to advice on filing personal taxes, employees gain access to a wealth of financial service ideas and options for their elders.
-- Independent living services - Members receive over-the-phone advice from experienced and well-trained adult care specialists who can help employees determine the current and future living needs of their elder relatives. The specialists, who are available 24-hours a day, will thoroughly assess the elder’s situation, including health and care needs, and work directly with the employee to explore viable solutions.
“With SeniorAdvocate, employers will be providing their workforce with an invaluable caregiving tool that ultimately may lead to reduced stress and increased productivity in the workplace,” Brennan said. “At the same time, employers can feel confident about providing a quality benefit that allows their employees to continue to balance the demands of work and home.”
About ARAG Group
Founded in 1973, ARAG Group (www.araggroup.com) administers more professional legal advisory plans than any other company and maintains its domestic headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. In 2001, the company introduced SeniorAdvocate to provide legal, financial and eldercare guidance for individuals and families. The company’s current corporate plan sponsors include industry leaders such as First Union Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Genentech, Inc., Kraft Foods, Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Nokia, Oracle Corporation, The Procter & Gamble Company and WORLDCOM, Inc. The parent company, Allgemeine Rechtsschutz Versicherungs Aktien Gesellschaft (ARAG), is headquartered in Germany with affiliations in 12 countries in addition to the United States. It maintains 12 million plan members and insureds worldwide.
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For more information: http://www.araggroup.com
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