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In The News

Will grandternity leave keep older workers in the workforce?

A handful of international employers are now rolling out an extra employee benefit designed to recognize the unique needs of their late career/aging workforce. 

Referred to as grandparent leave or grandternity, these new initiatives have been created to help those who are in that stage of life to spend time with their new grandchildren upon birth or adoption and of course to stop them from quitting or finding another job. 

While some programs are limited to paid one—three days to meet and greet a newborn, others are several weeks or longer in the form of unpaid leave. The thinking is it in a tight labour market allowing time off will help to encourage experienced talent to take the time that they need with their families and either remain with the firm on a part time basis for a short term or return to their previous position 

So far, for those companies who have offered it, the initiative has been well-received and is strong.

When combined with new gender inclusive programs, and bereavement leave, the introduction of grandparent leave seems to go along with a growing trend to recognize the needs of families and caregivers. Source: BPM

Early Alzheimer’s signs: Trouble with simple finances

Calculating change, balancing their cheque books or getting a little confused with on-line transactions can happen even in adults who are cognitively healthy. However, trouble managing money can also be a harbinger of early signs of dementia according to new research.  

This research disproves previous thinking that “financial difficulty may occur only in late stages of dementia but these can happen early and the changes can be subtle,” claims a senior author of the research paper.

The longitudinal study done at Duke University, used 243 adults ages 45 to 90 and included tests of financial skills and brain scans to reveal protein buildup of beta-amyloid plaques.

Correlated to the amount of protein built up in the brain, the decline of financial skills at the earliest stage of mild memory impairment was similar in men and women. 

The study’s findings suggest that results this work could lead to the development of new more sensitive financial capacity testing. This would help to reduce the risk that a subtle decline in cognitive function over time may not be noticed. Source: Duke Health 

Meeting others for lasting connections in later life

Loneliness has never been seen as an illness with many older adults saying they’re ashamed or scared to admit that they’re lonely or isolated. According to the National Institute on Aging at TMU, older adults are more prone to experiencing both given their potential lack of contact with workplace, family or friends.  Of concern is the fact that social isolation and loneliness can lead to mood disorders, dementia, heart disease, increased substance abuse, poor sleep and even premature death.

With other countries like UK launching national loneliness strategies there’s a call for Canada to develop one too. UK has been a trailblazer by identifying categories of people at risk and coming up with solutions and infrastructure to support them locally. Even pubs were enlisted to organize activities for lonely elders.

Of note, CMHA in York Region has done ground-breaking work with a population based approach and first ever community framework to prevent chronic loneliness called Solutions For Beginning. 

The solution to less loneliness?  The author calls for better link in our social systems that will create
a tighter social fabric. Source: 

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