MTAB Annual Meeting
The MTA Benefits Annual Meeting
was held on Nov. 14. Seated from
left to right are Directors Jacqueline
Gorrie and Jacquelyn Lawrence.
Standing from left to right are MTA
Vice President Max Page, MTA Benefits
President Maryann Robinson, Director
Donna Grady, MTA Executive Director-Treasurer Ann Clarke, and Directors
Robert V. Travers Jr. and Ryan Hoyt.
Not pictured are MTA President Merrie
Najimy and Director Gerard Ruane.
Photo by Bob Duffy
I n the back of our minds, many of us are paralyzed by the thought of getting “the call.”
Every time the phone rings, the hairs on the
back of our necks stand at attention as we reach for
it, fearful that a hospital emergency department or
a confused parent is on the other end. A call about
a parent falling or becoming ill can haunt our every
This is especially difficult for educators, who
carry a heavy load of professional responsibilities
and are devoted to their work in the classroom.
According to the AARP, more than 34 million adult
children fear getting the call. Whether you are
directly caring for parents or simply overseeing their
care, the worry doesn’t go away.
One in six working adults is also responsible
for the care of their children and an older adult at the
same time. Millions of baby boomers and Generation
Xers are members of this so-called “sandwich
generation,” and the increased responsibilities they
face can impose a physical and mental toll.
Additional caregiving demands placed on
educators carry a range of potential negative
psychological, social and financial consequences —
not only for the educator but for the workplace.
In many occupations, if an employee misses
a few days of work, others can step in and the
employer can recover. But if an educator misses a
few days of work, it could affect a student’s learning
This is especially true for those working with
students in special education. And while child care
issues may occasionally mean coming to work late
or leaving early, elder care can be tougher and less
predictable when the issue involves someone who is
sick or disoriented.
Sixty-eight percent of caregivers report having to
make changes to their work schedules to accommodate
their responsibilities. According to The National
Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, these adjustments
include arriving late, leaving early, taking time off,
cutting back on work hours, changing jobs or stopping
work entirely. Thirty-one percent of adult caregivers
report stress, anxiety or depression, and 53 percent say
they lose time with friends and family because of their
The key for educators is to prepare for elder
care issues by getting to know what resources are
available, either close by or nationally.
Recently, MTA Benefits introduced
ElderBenefit.com, a free resource that can assist
members with elder care questions and concerns.
ElderBenefit is a senior care hotline offered
by CarePatrol that directs educators to community
resources and solutions. These can include government
programs, senior housing options, private pay
caregivers, elder law attorneys and financial planners.
Educators who call ElderBenefit can speak to a
nationally certified senior adviser. Call 866.423.9877
to reach an adviser who is familiar with your local
Typical calls relate to finding assisted living
and memory care communities, hiring caregivers for
additional support, and researching options to help
pay for services. All calls are confidential, and face-to-face appointments may also be available.