Prosper provides solutions, resources for caregivers

Program launches nationally this summer

Caregiver and elderly man reading paperwork

How can you find someone to help your elderly mom?

What paperwork do you need to make sure you can help your dad with his health care or financial decisions?

And how can you find time to figure that all out while also working and managing your own family life?

Caregiving duties cost both employees and employers time and money — and can lead to frustration, burnout and lost productivity.

Prosper Caregiving Coordination connects caregivers to resources for their over-65 family member, including managing bills, organizing legal and financial documents, housing and health needs through an employer-offered benefits package. Trained caregiver guides offer education and comprehensive research down to the ZIP code level to help walk caregivers through their journey.

The database includes access to exclusive providers who offer savings to Prosper members.

“There’s so much information out there, it’s hard to know where to start,” said Mike Shaft, director of Prosper. “We’ve taken on some of that work for caregivers, and our guides can offer them solutions and organizations we know they can trust.”

According to recent research from AARP, about 53 million adults, or about 21%, in the United States are uncompensated caregivers — meaning they provide care to an adult with health or functional needs. Of those, about a quarter of them are caring for more than one person.

The same report notes that when caregivers go online to search for care, what they are looking for is “actual, hands-on help: searching for services, aides, facilities, or other help.”

Caregivers struggle to find time

Caregiving can be exhausting, time-consuming and expensive.

The same research from AARP shows that 61 percent of family caregivers also are working. That can make the time needed to find and vet resources feel like an impossible luxury.

“We know how busy people are, and Prosper is set up to help ease that burden,” Shaft said. “We can help caregivers wherever they are, and with whatever they need. And we do it through whatever channel works best for them — phone calls, email, even text messages. The goal is to streamline caregiving so it feels like less of a burden and more an act of love.”

Prosper Caregiving Coordination was founded in 2019 and is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The company was formed as a spin-off of the business development team at Sanford Health. Trained guides offer information and resources in several areas, including housing transitions, legal and financial documents and other services.

Some services include special member benefits — such as access to and specialty pricing for legal guidance for wills and trusts, for example. Or services that help manage and automate bill-paying.

It will roll out to a national audience through a pilot program this summer, and more broadly after that.

Caregiving costs employers

The duties of caregiving can be more than just financially and emotionally draining for the caregiver — they can be costly for employers, too.

Family Caregiver Alliance estimates that employers lose up to $33 billion each year in lost productivity. As employers increasingly offer benefits packages that encompass more than just physical health, expanding into support services for caregivers feels like a natural next step.

The AARP report noted that 23 percent of respondents said caregiving had made their own health worse.

“We know there’s a need for this,” Shaft said. “Employee retention is so important, and anything employers can do helps. Offering this service is no different than offering access to a financial planner, for example. We know that a little bit of guidance can go a long way — and that helps everyone involved.”

Note: Employees at Sanford Health and the Good Samaritan Society now have a resource that can help as part of a pre-pilot program with Prosper Caregiving Coordination. The pre-pilot opens this week, with the first appointments available on June 22. Employees who would like to participate can go to Inside Sanford for a link.

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Posted In Innovations, Senior Services

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