Supporting caregiving employees, before and after loss

Published on Mar 1, 2023

Over 40 million Americans are responsible for the care and wellbeing of an elderly or sick relative. Laboring in silence—caregiving has been called “the invisible profession”—these people have what amounts to a second, unpaid job. Then, once the person under their care passes away, these responsibilities are replaced with a whole new set of tasks, as they deal with the funeral, the accounts, the estate, and more. 

While the details may differ, these two experiences are very similar: administratively demanding, physically taxing, and time consuming, all made even more difficult by the intense emotions associated with the end of a loved one’s life. They both present huge hurdles for these individuals, as well as significant issues for their employers. Both before and after loss, caregiving employees are overwhelmed, exhausted, distracted, and emotionally wrung out, and their employers face the challenge, and the opportunity, to support them through it all.

Today’s employers are beginning to find more effective and targeted ways to help their employees through company benefits, not just during life's biggest moments like getting married or becoming a new parent, but also throughout longer ordeals, like chronic illness or caregiving. When employers step up in this way, they communicate to their workforces that they have their backs even in difficult times, and foster a sense of care and compassion in the workplace. 

This has been increasingly the case when it comes to helping employees with caregiving challenges, with more and more companies recognizing the importance of this special kind of support. But since the challenges that caregivers face don’t simply evaporate once their loved one passes away, there is a significant need for the same kind of comprehensive care for bereavement.

It is high time we begin thinking of caregiving and bereavement on a continuum of responsibilities. Bereavement is a special kind of caregiving, in which one cares for the person after their passing: fulfilling their funerary needs, administering their estate, and safeguarding their legacy. Benefits packages that help caregivers should thus go hand in hand with services for the bereaved, so that the employee is supported at every point in the process of tending to their loved one’s life and needs.

As part of Empathy’s ongoing efforts to guarantee this continuity of care, today we are announcing our new partnership with Sharecare, a company that lets people manage all of their healthcare in a central digital platform. Empathy’s full-circle support will now complement Sharecare’s tech-enabled home care offering, CareLinx by Sharecare.

A benefit that caregiving employees can access through their employer, CareLinx provides on-demand access to a comprehensive range of services, from companionship and daily activities to clinical assessment and observation by licensed nurses. Through our new partnership, Sharecare will also offer support to the employee after their loved one’s passing, giving them bereavement support via Empathy’s product and services, including assistance with funeral planning, closing accounts, estate administration, and more, plus emotional guidance and grief support, with round-the-clock access to personalized assistance from the experts on our Care Team.

Through this important partnership, Empathy is excited to provide complementary services to the caregiving industry, leading the way in end-of-life care by helping to create an uninterrupted system of care for employees nationwide. Join us as we continue to make inroads into this all-important space, finding new ways to support families both before and after loss.

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