As more people today work beyond the traditional retirement age, employee assistance programs for pre-retirees and retirees are gaining popularity.

Recommending these types of plans to benefits clients may help improve the productivity of workers who are nearing the normal retirement age, by giving them help with planning for a new stage of life.

EAPs for seniors provide services in areas traditionally overlooked because these individuals are no longer in the work force and thus not covered by traditional EAPs. These include programs that support health wellness services and life management to aid in the transition from active work to retirement and support guidance for those caring for loved ones.

Planning for the financial aspects, health care, and social changes that accompany retirement is an important part of the transition from work, but many pre-retirees tend to neglect these areas as they prepare for retirement. People who are unhappy with their retirement experience may suffer from depression, distress and despair and a less optimal quality of life.

EAPs can provide counseling services to help seniors adjust to their retirement lifestyle and referral services to help them locate retirement communities and other resources.

Depression

Depression is not uncommon in the senior community. About 80% of elderly residents living in any type of residential facility suffer from some element of depression, according to researchers at Indiana University.

Some symptoms of depression may include or be commonly associated with malnutrition, antisocial behavior, alcohol abuse, excessive personal spending, osteoporosis and diabetes.

Certainly, these problems reduce quality of life and they also may increase the cost of any employer-sponsored retiree health benefit programs.

Caregivers

Caring for a loved one can be stressful for people at any age, but it may weigh particularly heavily on workers nearing retirement age.

According to the AARP’s National Alliance for Caregiving, 45% of those who provide unpaid care to family members are over the age of 50. The task of caring for a loved one can impact a person mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.

Typical informal caregivers spend an average of $200 per month out-of-pocket for the needs of their loved ones. The caregivers may give up many activities they enjoy, such as time with their friends and family, relaxing vacations, and time for exercising.

By providing telephonic or online support, as well as face-to-face counseling sessions, EAPs can help ease the burden of caring for loved ones.