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Elder Care Resources

I need to take a leave to help care for my aging parent or spouse.  What are my options?

There are a number of different leave options.  You should definitely meet with someone from Faculty Affairs (http://www.sjsu.edu/facultyaffairs/contacts/) to discuss all the different options. 

Faculty are able to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a family member.  Details on the Family Medical Leave (FML) are given on HR's webiste (http://www.sjsu.edu/hr/docs/benefits/info/fcml_info.pdf)

You may also work part time with a difference in pay (DIP) leave (http://www.sjsu.edu/facultyaffairs/Unit_3/CBA/DIP/index.htm).  You are eligible for this if you have worked full time for 6 years in the last 7 years.  The DIP leave will restart your sabbatical clock.  Also, the time will only partially accrue towards your retirement clock.

You may also take an unpaid leave of absence (Personal Leave Without Pay).  This time will not accrue towards your retirement.  You are not eligible for SJSU health benefits during that time.  However, it does not restart your sabbatical clock.  More details are given on the Leave Without Pay paperwork (http://www.sjsu.edu/facultyaffairs/docs/Per_Prof_Leave_Form.pdf).   

How would the leave affect the tenure clock?

Faculty who take a leave to care for a family member are eligible to stop the tenure clock for a year.  This can be done twice (maximum of two year extension).  The stopping of the tenure clock is not automatic.  You must decide to do it at least 30 days in advance of returning to work from the leave.  Details are given on page 10 of the SJSU Work Life Balance Handbook: http://www.sjsu.edu/facultyaffairs/docs/ACESLOAN.pdf

You are not eligible to stop the tenure clock if you take a difference in pay leave or a personal leave without pay (without taking the FML).

How would the leave affect my retirement clock or sabbatical leave clock?

With the FML leave, there is no impact on your retirement clock or your sabbatical leave clock.  The up to 12 week leave accrues as regular time.  It does not restart your sabbatical clock.

A leave without pay does not accrue towards your retirement.  However, the leave without pay does not restart your sabbatical clock.  For more information, see the Eligibility section of the Senate policy on sabbatical: http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/F08-4.htm

A difference in pay leave does accrue towards your retirement in the partial fraction.  However, it will restart you sabbatical clock.  For more information, see the Eligibility section of the Senate policy on sabbatical: http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/F08-4.htm

How would the leave affect my health benefits?

If you take the Family Medical Leave, there is no impact on your benefits.  Your benefits remain intact throughout the 12 weeks.

In general, to be eligible for SJSU benefits, you must be appointed at least half time.  Therefore, you are not eligible for benefits if you take a personal or professional leave without pay.  You are eligible if you take a difference in pay leave that leaves you appointed for at least half time at SJSU.  For more information, see HR's Faculty Benefit Summary Sheet (http://www.sjsu.edu/hr/faculty/summary/).

How should I go about taking a leave?

The first step you should do is to read carefully through SJSU's policies so you are familiar with what your options are (see the questions above).  The next step is to talk to your chair.  Depending on your relationship with your chair, this can be awkward.  However, it is in your best interest and the department's that you talk with the chair as early in the process as you are comfortable with so that you can both plan together how best to accommodate your leave and cover your courses and other responsibilities.  You need to also talk to Faculty Affairs office (http://www.sjsu.edu/facultyaffairs/contacts/) .  They will help you calculate your leave dates.  You also need to see your benefits representative in HR (http://www.sjsu.edu/hr/about/directory/byunit/ess_directory/index.htm) to fill out paperwork related to the leave.

What eldercare resources exist at SJSU?

Faculty and staff have access to Concern EAP which is a free referral service to help you find agencies that assist with eldercare.  For more details, see the Concern EAP website (http://www.concern-eap.com/Employees/EldercareServices/tabid/84/language/en-US/Default.aspx).

You can use the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) (http://www.sjsu.edu/hr/faculty/flex_spending/dependent_care/) to put aside $5,000 a year before taxes for eldercare expenses.  This is reduced to $2500 a year if you are married and filing separately.  It can not be used if you have a stay-at-home spouse.

How do I go about finding help to care for my aging parent or spouse?

Accent on Seniors is a free California State licensed senior living referral and information service.  http://accentonseniors.com/sem/free-senior-living-facility-facilities-search.htm?gclid=CI66l87e_5cCFRRhnAodsgLkDQ

Care.com has resources available for California residents in need of senior care. You can find assisted living homes, public transportation options (such as the Senior Shuttle), and home and health care organizations close by.

The California Assisted Living Association (CALA) is an organization devoted to the betterment of Assisted Living by providing leadership to assisted living providers and other stakeholders in the assisted living field; advocacy to protect the interests of providers and the consumer-focused service they provide; and education to support the provision of high quality programs and services.

The California Department of Aging (CDA) administers programs that serve older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the State. The Department administers funds allocated under the federal Older Americans Act, the Older Californians Act, and through the Medi-Cal program.

California Healthcare Foundation has guides for long-term care throughout the State of California.  http://www.calnhs.org/

California Registry lists the California area agencies on aging.  http://www.calregistry.com/resources/aaa.htm

Institute on Aging (IOA) is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that touches the lives of thousands of seniors in San Francisco, Marin, and the Peninsula each year. IOA's mission is to enhance the quality of life for adults as they age by enabling them to maintain their health, well-being, independence, and participation in the community. We fulfill this mission for a diverse community by developing and providing innovative programs in health, social service, creative arts, spiritual support, education, and research.

Government Resources
Administration on Aging (AoA)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services) 
Corporation for National and Community Service, Senior Corps
Eldercare Locator
Housing and Urban Development
National Institute on Aging
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Social Security Administration
Other Organizations
Alzheimer's Association
American Geriatrics Society
Caring Connections
Center for Medicare Advocacy
Consumer Coalition for Quality Care
Families USA
Helping Family Caregivers Complete the Circle of Care
Hospice Net
Last Acts
Live Well, Live Longer: Steps to Better Health
Medicare Rights Center
National Information and Referral Support System
National Alliance for Caregiving
National Center on Elder Abuse
National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
National Committee for Quality Assurance
National Family Caregivers Association
National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center
National Senior Citizens Law Center
Older Women's League
Positive Aging Resource Center (PARC)