Companies have long understood the need for new moms or dads to take time away from their career to concentrate on the multiple requirements of a baby, but what has been identified a great deal less is the incredibly important need for adult children to take time off to look after their aging parents. Yet as our life expectancy continues to expand, and as baby boomers are entering into their senior years, the balancing act to take care of professional and family lives is starting to become more prevalent.
And attempting to balance a career alongside senior care needs can be extremely complicated. The truth is, providing care alone, without adding in work-related stress, places caregivers at an increased likelihood of depression, substance abuse, and numerous physical issues: heart problems, infections, and cancer, just to identify a few.
And though the Family and Medical Leave Act helps to ensure that employees of larger companies get access to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, only 13% of employees receive paid family leave – a significant component for many to ensure financial requirements are met. And a full one out of every seven employees who care for an older friend or family member wind up decreasing their time at the office, taking a lesser-paying position, or leaving the workforce completely.
One solution to keep an eye on is the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, or FAMILY Act, introduced last year to provide limited income to family caregivers for up to 12 weeks for providing care for aging parents facing a health concern. To date, five states have passed similar policies (New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and California – plus Washington, DC).
Despite the fact that paid leave for caregivers is costly for companies, Maureen Corcoran of Prudential Financial notes, “It is not more costly than losing employees early to disability, to early retirement, to presenteeism (when employees show up for work but don’t get much done).”
The good thing is, there is an additional solution already available to all family caregivers: partnering with a knowledgeable home care agency like CareWorks Health Services. We offer family members the peace of mind necessary to focus at the job, confident their senior loved one is receiving the best possible quality of care, customized to every individual’s distinct needs.
Contact us online or call us at (949) 859-4700 for more information about our Laguna Woods elder care services or to request educational resources specific to the precise struggles your senior loved one is dealing with. For a full list of communities we serve, please visit our service area page.