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April 9, 2001

Wealth of elder/child-care options available to employees

By Eric Rangus


Placing an older relative in an assisted-living facility is tough enough without sifting through piles of brochures or making dozens of phone calls to locate the best situation.
Finding proper child care also can be time consuming.

The Emory Well House, through Family Referral Services, offers a program that supports Emory faculty and staff who are searching for child-care, elder-care and adoption services.

Perhaps the best part is that this consultation service is provided at no cost to all eligible Emory employees, including those of the clinic and the hospitals. Employees will be responsible only for the costs associated with programs they select.

“It is a symbol of our commitment and acknowledgment to employees that their personal life is as important as their work life and job satisfaction,” said Peg Bloomquist, associate administrator of Emory Hospitals.

The Well House contracts with the Atlanta firm of BrownRichards & Associates, which, through an extensive database, can provide a variety of child-care options (day care centers, prenatal care, school information, summer camps, etc.), elder-care services (retirement communities, nursing homes, respite care, assisted living, etc.), and adoption services.

“When people call us, we tailor the referrals to their needs,” said Mary Brown, BrownRichards & Associates vice president. “Sometimes with elder care we try to get people to plan ahead, although I know that can be difficult.”

Consultations are made over the phone, and they vary in response time. Child-care inquiries can sometimes be wrapped up in an afternoon. The initial call might take a half-hour, and the BrownRichards consultant would provide a list of options at a later time. Employees then will receive a comprehensive information packet detailing their alternatives.

Adoption consultations may take an hour to 90 minutes, and elder-care consultations may be extensive as well. Consultants, though, remain in close contact with Emory employees and may call back several times. They also follow-up to ensure the client has found a situation suitable to their needs.

“The services are detailed to meet the needs of each member of the faculty and staff and have been a useful service to the community,” said Yvonne Hodge, occupational health promotion manager at the Well House.

BrownRichards & Associates has been in close partnership with the Well House since the 1970s. Child-care consultation was the initial step, but with a growing need for adoption and elder-care services, the partnership has evolved.

A national firm that contracts with more than 50 organizations, BrownRichards’ database contains more than a million elder care, child care and adoption agency providers who offer more than 2 million services.

“People find this service to be very helpful and informative,” Hodge said. “The service is custom-designed to meet their individual needs.”

Nothing is too trivial. For example, if a parent is looking for a day care center, the database takes into account his or her route from home to work. If a parent drives down, say, Briarcliff Road, a day care center with a Briarcliff address would be one of those pulled from the database.

“You name it, we can research it,” Brown said. “We find that [Emory] employees really appreciate the University’s benefits.”

The Well House/Brown-Richards collaboration also is providing several summer camp info stops in April at the Human Resources accounts payable lobby (April 10) and Yerkes (April 25).

In the area of elder care, other options for Emory employees include Atlanta Senior Care, a nonprofit organization headquartered at Wesley Woods, which provides a range of services including home care, medical services, community resources and housing options.

The Family Referral Service can be reached through the Well House at 404-727-WELL or BrownRichards & Associates directly at
404-352-813. Atlanta Senior Care can be reached at 404-728-6233.


Back to Emory Report April 9, 2001