Mainebiz Special Editions

Senior Smart 2023

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I have to begin by stating just how delighted I am to write to you as part of this edition of Senior Smart. W hen Mainebiz approached my office about this special issue devoted entirely to caregiving and the needs of family caregivers in Maine, my colleagues and I were eager to participate. Within these pages you will find many meaning- ful resources, tools, and tips, all of which are designed to facilitate a helpful approach to addressing the needs of both employee caregivers and their employers. Maine is home to 166,000 fam- ily caregivers, many of whom are working full- or part-time. This signals an important opportunity for members of the Maine busi- ness community, both small and big, to seek ways to acknowledge employees who may be persever- ing through the challenges of jug- gling their jobs along with caregiv- ing concerns. Employee caregivers span all sectors, job titles, ages, ethnicities and genders. In order to recruit and retain talented employees, employ- ers will benefit from addressing the reality that many of their employees carry this extra responsibility. For- tunately, employers have an oppor- tunity to proactively address such circumstances in ways that benefit both their employees and their bot- tom lines. Implementing policies and programs that support caregiving employees can enhance workplace loyalty, allow for recruitment and retention of talent, boost produc- tivity and bolster financial security. To that end, you may find our free Toolkits for Employers, found at ing-resources, particularly engag- ing. Here you will find free guides such as Supporting Caregivers: A Guide for Employers, Small Business Caregiving Online Resource Guide, and Supporting Military and Vet- eran Caregivers at Work to name a few. You will also discover a wealth of guides and other resources cre- ated with your employees in mind. Together, these tools can help you and your team through every stage of caregiving, starting with the ini- tial conversation about the best way forward for them, and for you! I will close by saying that my office welcomes hearing from you if you have feedback or best prac- tices to share. Were you able to implement a good approach to the working caregiver experience from which other business leaders might benefit? I am eager to hear about your innovative approaches and accomplishments. On behalf of our nearly 200,000 members in Maine, I send warm- est regards and I do hope our paths will cross again soon as we continue to care for caregivers in Maine! Sincerely, Noël Bonam AARP Maine State Director. M aine's five Area Agencies on Aging have been serving older adults around the state for the last 50 years. We're the focal point for resources and information on aging in our respective regions, and together we work to build stronger communities through e Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging - a private, non-profit orga- nization that provides a unifying voice for Maine's Area Agencies on Aging on issues that promote independence, dignity and economic self-reliance for Maine's older adults. We're excited about the opportu- nities we have to come together in supporting our vibrant communi- ties. We know that Maine is stron- ger and our communities are health- ier when older adults are appreci- ated, embraced, and held in high esteem. But we also know that it can be challenging to navigate this process on your own. Every day, we work with older adults and their loved ones to deliver Meals on Wheels, provide family caregiver support, offer expert advice on insurance and drug benefits, help navigate Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and direct dis- abled and aging Mainers to appro- priate community resources to help them live to their fullest potential. Perhaps most importantly, we're cre- ating a community and providing connections to thousands of older adults and their caregivers statewide. ere's help available. If you're navigating the aging process - on your own or with a loved one - con- sider your local Area Agency on Aging as your first stop. Visit the websites below to connect with the Agency that serves your region or call our toll free number, 1-877- 353-3771. — Megan Walton, Board President, Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging and CEO of Southern Maine Agency on Aging VO L . X X I X N O. X X I § 2 SEPTEMBER 18, 2023 2 Regional Area Agencies on Aging promoting stronger communities by supporting Maine's older adults AARP Toolkits for Employers gives resources to help support employees and caregivers F RO M T H E PA RT N E R S Aroostook Agency on Aging Aroostook County Eastern Area Agency on Aging Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties SeniorsPlus Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford Counties Southern Maine Agency on Aging York and Cumberland Counties Spectrum Generations Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc, Somerset, and Waldo Counties

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