According to research from CareGiving.com, individuals who care for a family member with a disease, disability or chronic illness (family caregivers) rate their stress as 4.14 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most stressed.

Managing the care of a family member and the responsibilities of a career call for meaningful solutions and support. According to research from CareGiving.com, individuals who care for a family member with a disease, disability or chronic illness (family caregivers) rate their stress as 4.14 on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most stressed. In addition, 62% of working family caregivers worry about whether to quit their job because of their caregiving responsibilities.

To help family caregivers manage their responsibilities and keep their jobs, CareGiving.com and SeniorGuards have partnered to create a caregiving solution called SupportGuards. The SupportGuards benefit surrounds the family caregiver with a team of professionals, including consultants and lawyers, and with technology solutions to help ease the stress of the caregiving experience.

SupportGuards, a voluntary employee benefit and a direct-to-consumer solution includes the following free services:

Free sessions with Certified Caregiving Consultants, professionals who have enhanced their personal caregiving experiences with specialized training offered through CareGiving.com.

Free virtual support group meetings called Care and Share. During these meetings, working family caregivers will gain strategies to ease worries, create plans and manage stress.

Care Angel, an AI-driven caregiving assistant designed to be a check-in service. Through daily calls, the app gathers information about a caree's appetite, sleep quality, blood pressure, glucose readings and other health-related questions. Care Angel won AARP Foundation's 2016 Aging in Place Challenge.

Benefit participants can upgrade to an premium solution that includes:

LegalZoom Lifeplan, which provides support from LegalZoom’s 16,000+ attorneys located throughout all 50 states. Premium members receive unlimited 30-minute consultants with elder law attorneys, two free wills or living trusts, and document review. An online, secure storage vault with unlimited data for documents and personal memories. Care Angel “PRO,” which provides check-in calls for as many as three carees and text alerts/status reports to as many as three family members. SeniorProvidersNetwork, which simplifies the caregiving decision-making process with an online platform that connects members to a virtual gerontologist and a vetted, national network of caregiving professionals.

For family caregivers who may not be able to enroll in the benefit through an employer, SupportGuards benefit program will be available through CareGiving.com's Co-op beginning September 9, 2019.

Certified Caregiving Consultants

The Provider Network of Certified Caregiving Consultants available through SupportGuards features consultants who have an expertise in caring for a family member with dementia, managing the challenges of caring for a family member while raising children, and caring for family members from a distance. The growing network of 25 initial consultants includes:

Jessica Dugan, who cares for her parents from a distance. Jessica completed her CCC training in 2018 after working 14 years in the educational system and four years in the health care system. Jessica specializes in helping family caregivers build healthy habits and improve self-care skills, particularly family caregivers at-risk of diabetes or other chronic diseases. Jessica launched her business, Bright Impact, LLC, in 2017. Dannelle LeBlanc, who merges personal experience as a family caregiver for her father-in-law with Parkinson’s disease with her 20-plus years experience in health care, patient support services, and corporate training. Dannelle specializes in community education for family caregivers, with a focus on care planning and connecting caregivers to practical, purposeful support resources. She also helps those in a culturally diverse caregiving situation. Dannelle launched her business, Caregiver Transitions, in 2018. Jeff Peterson, who works with family caregivers to develop a customized plan to cope with the stresses, fears and realities associated with a family member's chronic illnesses. Jeff also works with teenagers and young adults impacted by a family's caregiving situation. He was the primary caregiver for his wife Cherie for 10 years and is the father of two adult daughters. Jeff launched his business, One Love Coaching and Consulting LLC, in 2018. Kristen Roden, who works with those caring for their spouses, a family member with ALS, or a family member while also raising a young family. She focuses on developing a positive mindset and practices of gratitude, as she firmly believes these methods can empower family caregivers through unlocking their own inner strength. Kristen cares for her husband, Adam, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2015. She and Adam also are raising their two young boys. Kristen launched The Thriving Caregiver this summer. Louisa Stringer, who supports family members of cancer patients. In November of 2010, Louisa's youngest daughter, Sephine, who was 4 at the time, was diagnosed with a rare form of stage 3 cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. Because of the hardships and the pain interwoven in her life, Louisa learned how to find joy and strength not only in her journey as a family caregiver but in her life beyond the role. Louisa launched her business, Your Caregiver Journey, in 2018, and supports family members of cancer patients at Cape Wellness Collaborative.

“I'm thrilled and honored that our Certified Caregiving Consultants will be offering their insights and support to family caregivers,” said Denise M. Brown, founder of CareGiving.com and the Certified Caregiving Consultant training program. “Each CCC has transformed their own personal caregiving experience to make a difference in helping others while also running their own small business.”

“The addition of Denise Brown and CareGiving.com to our family is a privilege and beyond exciting. Her expertise, energy and sincere focus on caring for others is unparalleled. This along with her team of Certified Caregiving Consultants completes our diverse solution platform and defines us as 'Technology Powered by People,” said Chris Carpino, founder of SeniorGuards.

Additional Programs and Services In the fall of 2019, a premium benefit will be added that helps family caregivers put a back-up plan in place. According to CareGiving.com's research, about half of family caregivers do not have a back-up plan. Certified Caregiving Consultants will provide annual 60-minute consults to help the family caregiver talk out what to do when an urgent situation arises like a caree's hospitalization or a last-minute business trip. Employees also will access to additional training throughout the year to keep their back-up plans current. “We know that a caregiving experience brings with it unexpected situations that impact the workplace. We want to help the employee manage those 'What if' scenarios with effective back-up plans,” Brown said

In 2020, a Leadership benefit will be added that supports an organization's top talent and their caregiving responsibilities.

To learn more about adding SupportGuards to your employee benefits package, please contact Chris Carpino via email at ccarpino(at)seniorguards.com or via phone at 609-413-1000. For more information about the Certified Caregiving Consultant training program or to be connected with our Certified Caregiving Consultants, contact Denise via email at denise(at)caregiving.com or via phone at 773-343-6341.