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Life Events
Caring for a Loved One

Growing numbers of people find themselves caring for a parent, spouse, or other adult family member. Providing care for another adult is complex and presents a variety of challenges including managing another person's health, medical care, legal and financial responsibilities as well as taking care of one's self, relationships and work responsibilities. There are resources and services available at the University, in the community, and through government programs that can help you with the challenges of family caregiving.

UW Resources

Eldercare Consultation & Referral
UW CareLink provides Access to geriatric care managers for consultation and assistance with identifying resources when you are concerned about an aging parent or chronically ill adult. These health and human services professionals are specially trained in issues relating to aging and the elderly.
Receive up to three hours of consultation per year. Sessions are telephone consults, however on campus in-person consultations may be available on select dates and times and can be arranged through the WorkLife office. Email WorkLife or visit the UW WorkLife home page for scheduling information.
Short-term, In-home Eldercare: Bright Horizons Back-up Care Advantage Program®
The Back-Up Care Advantage Program provides back-up care for your adult/elder relative when regular arrangements fall through unexpectedly. The caregiver comes to your home! Faculty, staff, and students can use in-home elder care services up to five days per household per calendar year. Once registered, reservations can be made as far as one month in advance of the date care is needed. All in-home care agencies in the Bright Horizons network are credentialed and employ trained caregivers, and the providers participate in an extensive screening and training.
In-home adult/elder care co-payments are $8/hour, with a $32 minimum. You need to register in advance in order to access care. At the time of service, employees and students are responsible for co-pays. UW has negotiated subsidized rates. All requests are filled as able, and are not guaranteed placement.
Register today to ensure peace of mind tomorrow!
  • Visit
    • Back-Up Care Username: UnivWA
    • Back-Up Care Password: 4Backup
  • Call 877-BH-CARES (877-242-2737) — care consultants are available 24/7/365. For more information, please refer to the program website or contact
This web page explains how staff may consider developing a work schedule to help you to better meet caregiver responsibilities while continuing to work.
Illness/Disability Leave (for staff)
Review the "Serious Illness/Disability" information on the "Life Events" web pages if you have to take time off work to care for a family member with a serious illness or disability.
Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
This program allows you to take a pre-tax payroll deduction for eligible dependent care expenses, thus reducing your income tax obligation. DCAP can be used instead of taking the Child Care tax credit when you file your tax return. DCAP is available to any UW employee except students whose wages are exempt from FICA and nonresident aliens who receive no U.S.-source earned income.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care refers to a broad range of medical, personal, and social services provided to people who are unable to care for themselves over an extended time period. These services are typically not covered by health insurance or Medicare and long term care insurance is designed to cover these costs. See the Long-Term Care Resources webpage for more information about long-term care and tips for evaluating long-term care insurance products.

Community & Government Resources

Community Resources

County Senior Services organizations can provide information and referral to local services appropriate to specific situations. They also provide a range of services to support the elder person and/or the caregiver such as, recreational activities, transportation, meals, assistance with home repairs, etc. Contact the organization in the area where you are providing care.

Aging and Disability Resource Center
phone: 253-798-4600
Senior Services of King County
phone: 206-448-3110
Senior Services of Snohomish County
phone: 425-513-1900

Government Resources

Benefits Checkup
Helps find government programs that may be available to a loved one
Eldercare Locator
Quickly locates the state and local senior service organizations nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides an excellent resource for information about using Medicare, updates on changes, listings of events, and access for local services.
Washington State Aging and Disabilities Administration serves adults of all ages with chronic illnesses and determines eligibility for the state's Medicaid program.
SHIBA Help line
A network of trained volunteers who educate, assist, and advocate for consumers regarding health insurance, so they can make informed choices. Contact the SHIBA Help line or call their 24-hour toll-free referral hotline (1-800-562-6900).
Social Security Administration
Information about the application for retirement benefits, disability benefits and access to publications, forms, and updates about changes. Information is also available in Spanish. 1-800-772-1213.