Caring for Elders and Other Adults

The Office of Work/Live gives all benefits-eligible employees options for short-term backup care and resources for longer-term solutions.

Planning Resources

Harvard offers multiple resources that can help faculty and staff plan for and support an elder or other adult.

  • Harvard's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides advice and recommendations on any elder- or adult-care issue, and referrals to resources nationwide.
  • The Senior Care Planning program, provided by, helps faculty and staff navigate the ever-changing demands of caring for an aging family member or other adult by connecting them with a professional senior care advisor, a licensed geriatric social worker who is an expert in adult and elder care. The program also provides referrals and access to vetted services around the country.

Backup Care

If an adult relative’s needs or care arrangements suddenly change or your regular care is unavailable, you can find backup care to cope with a short-term need.

  • Backup Care is a service that sends a screened and qualified care provider to your adult relative’s home. You must pre-register and submit a waiver for this service. You must submit this paper document by scanning it or taking a clear picture of it and emailing ( it to the University’s Office of Work/Life. (While email is preferred, faxing is also possible at 617-495-4124. If you fax, please follow up with an email so we know to look for your form).
    Please note: Adult back-up care may require an assessment of care needs and therefore as much time as possible should be allowed.
  • The SOURCE Program provides employees up to $350 per year to help pay for back-up care. Benefits-eligible employees with a full-time equivalent annual salary of less than $70,000 are eligible. 

Nursing Home Care

If you are considering nursing home care for a family member or another adult in your life, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home provides information on:

  • How to find and compare nursing homes
  • How to pay for nursing home care
  • Your nursing home resident rights
  • Additional resources