Social policy recommendations to alleviate stress among informal providers of elder care

Ed Chung, Elizabethtown College
Carolan Mclarney, Dalhousie University
Mark C. Gillen, University of Wisconsin-River Falls


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine social policy recommendations to deal with the high level of pressure placed upon informal providers of elder care. Design/methodology/approach – The paper investigates this subject of elder care by first establishing the significance of the problem. The paper provides an examination of how this problem is dealt with in several countries, both at the governmental level and by private enterprise. This forms the basis of a discussion of social (and enterprise) policy implications in particular for the USA. A focus on flexible work scheduling as a viable means to help alleviate the problem is recommended. In particular an approach of voluntary compliance is proposed to encourage wider acceptance by corporations. Findings – The paper finds that priority needs to be given to developing a social policy agenda that focuses on flexible work scheduling. In addition, meaningful effort must be expended to capture input from various stakeholders, and to educate and promote the program itself. Concurrently, efforts targeted at managers must be executed to move them away from the traditional line of sight management schema into one more akin to a target-based schema. Originality/value – The paper offers useful suggestions to promote implementation. © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited