Investment and commercial banking giant JP Morgan have introduced dental cover for elderly relatives of its workforce, by adding it to their flexible employee benefits scheme. Leading dental payment plan supplier Denplan has this week announced that it is extending its dental employee benefit plans for corporates to include eldercare cover for employees, with JP Morgan the first of Denplan’s corporate clients to make it available to their employees.

With an ageing population, it is becoming evident that more employees are finding themselves needing to care for elderly relatives, with employers becoming more aware of the support their staff may need when it comes to caring for their relatives. According to figures, there are now over 11 million people in the UK aged over 65 and nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday.

Pam Whelan, Head of Corporate at Denplan comments: “The oral health needs of an ageing population should not be underestimated, and there is likely to be a growing impact on society of diseases such as periodontal disease (gum disease) which is often more common in later life.  Periodontal disease can lead to tooth decay and loss of teeth, discomfort and disruption of chewing, difficulties with speech and avoidance of socialisation. All can play havoc with fundamental aspects of daily life for the elderly and this can in turn affect those having to care for them, especially in terms of employee’s mental health and wellbeing, and their finances.

“JP Morgan have clearly realised the benefits of providing health care cover for their employees and their elderly relatives so we are extremely pleased to be able to offer eldercare dental benefits to their staff as part of the company’s flexible benefits scheme. This allows their employees to select dental care cover for their parents at the same current corporate rates that they and their partners receive.”

Adam Brooke, an employee benefits and wellness manager at JP Morgan, echoed Whelan’s belief that this was a key step towards better supporting employees in the context of an ageing population, saying, “We found that eldercare really resonates with our diverse workforce, and we have noticed that it is an area that has grown immensely over the last few years. The eldercare dental cover has been added to a new section of our organisation’s flexible benefits portal, providing our employees with the opportunity to cover themselves, their partner and both their parents and parents-in-law for their dental health needs.”

In terms of impact, Brooke believes that there will be a strong response from employees. “We have informed all our staff of the new eldercare cover, and with 28% of our workforce currently members of Denplan, we expect take up to prove very popular.”