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The Big Purple Blob PODCAST

Oct 26, 2022

An easy going discussion with real-life experiences in our ExPat community to recognize this challenging and often stressful issue. 

A few resources below to start your research on specifics for your situation.

Employee Consultation Service (ECS) Among the many confidential services ECS provides, are Elder Care resources and more. Those who seriously consider a curtailment from an overseas post may wish to have ECS weigh-in to HR/CDA to provide support for a voluntary, compassionate curtailment decision. 

WorkLife4You This program provides free assistance and guidance for the Foreign Service on many issues including Adult Care & Aging: Specialist@lifecare.com

The Eldercare Support Group is provided as an employee service by the Employee Relations Office Work/Life Programs & the Office of Medical Services to help those who are dealing with eldercare issues.

Putting Parents on Your Orders 

Foreign Service employees may request that their elderly relative(s) (including step parents and legally adopted parents) be approved as an eligible family member and added to their Post Assignment Travel Orders for an overseas assignment. There are many requirements and steps needed to accomplish this.  Be sure contact your HR or Management Officer to discuss the specifics.  

Bringing Parents to Post Who Are Not on Your Orders

If your relatives are not financially dependent on you, they may come to post as members of the employee’s household, but will receive no official support from the U.S. Government. No official support translates into no access to the U.S. embassy health unit, no airfare or allowance payments in the case of evacuation from post, and no diplomatic status with the host country.

Parents who come to live overseas for an extended period of time should consider having additional medical insurance (Medicare does not cover costs related to care overseas). In addition, parents should also maintain Air Medical Evacuation Insurance. A list of companies that provide this insurance can be found on the Department of State Internet web site at:


Family Medical Leave Act and Family-Friendly Leave 

If you think you may need to care for an elderly relative, be sure to check the provisions of the 1993 Family Leave Act on taking leave for this purpose.  For more information: t


Eldercare Emergency Visitation Travel (Eldercare EVT) 

EVT is a Department benefit that allows an eligible individual to be authorized travel at USG expense from the post of assignment to the United States or to other location in certain situations of family emergency or death. In January 2001, the Eldercare Emergency Visitation Travel (Eldercare EVT) to assist parents in declining health. To learn more, please see the ElderCare website or email the Family Liaison Office ( for a copy of “Questions and Answers on Eldercare Emergency Visitation Travel,” and visit