Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the public eye by sharing his story of caring for his mom with in-home supportive services and the impact it had on his own life. He explained, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.”
Obviously, this is not anything new to the large numbers of the United States workforce (3 out of 4 employees) who are simultaneously providing care for someone at home. And as outlined by a report carried out by Harvard Business School, 80% of those family caregivers are having difficulties keeping up with their work commitments because of their caregiving duties. And as many as a third of them end up giving up their careers to concentrate more on the care their loved one requires.
Yet conversely, employers are seemingly less familiar with the challenges faced by their employees, and the stress that comes from keeping up with responsibilities between home and work, pointing out in the report justifications such as, “It’s none of our business,” and “The volume of use of caregiving benefits is low enough that it is not necessary to track it.” And the majority of those employees agree that their organization’s culture is not as encouraging as they would like with regard to meeting needs at work in addition to needs in the home.
So how can employees help to propel the workplace changes needed to make certain that the increasing army of working family caregivers obtains both the understanding and resources required for an effective work/life balance? It starts with speaking up to generate the necessary awareness of the issue. Employers need to understand the impact family caregiving has on their workers to retain the personnel most likely to depart due to caregiving stress: younger workers, higher-ranking workers, and higher-earning workers. Research and suggest caregiving benefits the employer can provide, and then don’t be afraid to utilize those benefits when offered.
In addition, keep in mind that CareWorks Health Services provides highly personalized in-home supportive services in Orange County that enable employed loved ones to concentrate more completely on their careers, confident their senior loved ones are experiencing the top-quality care they want in the home. Reach out to us at (949) 859-4700 to set up a free in-home assessment to learn more about our specialized in-home supportive services for seniors in Orange County, and how we can partner with your employer to discover caregiving benefit offerings for staff members.