Number of Employees: over 6,000
Fannie Mae’s eldercare program began in 1999 and consists of the following services:
- Eldercare consultations (in-person or remote). The consultation service can be used for any care situation facing the employee, including care for in-laws and grandparents. Consultations can also include conference calls with siblings and joint consultations with spouses.
- Information, resource and referral service
- Supportive/crisis counseling
- Lunchtime education seminars (in person, online or dial-in)
- Elderkit. This is a binder with planning tools and sample documents. A CD is also available.
Most of the elements were started in 1999. Newer additions included the development of the Elderkit in 2000, and the addition of a CD version of the kit in 2007.
The consultation service is unique in that it relies upon a geriatric care manager/licensed clinical social worker that is housed at Fannie Mae, but is employed by Iona Senior Services, a nonprofit service agency. The social worker oversees the program and provides consultations directly. As an employee of the independent agency, this professional has true independence in her work and is able to avoid any competing demands or interests that may arise when the consulting professional is employed by the employer.
Marketing / Utilization
The marketing of the program is managed by the HR department and is ongoing, including an eldercare fact sheet and frequently asked questions page on the intranet. In addition, word of mouth has been an important component of the marketing. Between 5 and 6 percent of the workforce use some element of the program annually; a rate that exceeds the average. As of FY 2011, 2,446 employees have accessed the program.
Employees are surveyed regarding the program. In one dependent care survey, 92 percent reported that the program saved them time, 100 percent reported that they would use the program again and 100 percent reported they would recommend the services to a coworker. More than 25 percent of the respondents reported that the program helped them with a situation that, if left unresolved, might have caused them to leave their job.
Benefit to Employer
The employer benefits from the program due to increased retention and productivity, improved morale of workers and a decrease in caregiving anxiety and absenteeism.
Other Program Information
This program was one of the first in the country to use the services of a full-time on-site eldercare consultant to support employees. By giving the caregiving professional autonomy and not limiting the access to the service by care recipient type or number of hours, the program is flexible enough to help and support all employees.