Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought family caregiving into the foreground by discussing his journey of caring for his mother and the impact it had on his own life. He said, “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.”
This is nothing new to our Sunrise eldercare experts or the vast majority of the U.S. workforce (3 out of 4 employees) who are concurrently providing care for a family member at home. And based on a survey carried out by Harvard Business School, 80% of those family caregivers are struggling to keep up with their work obligations due to their caregiving duties. And nearly 1/3 of them end up giving up their careers to concentrate more on the care their loved one needs.
Yet conversely, businesses appear to be less alert to the challenges faced by their staff, and the stress that comes from keeping up with responsibilities between home and work, noting in the survey excuses 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 vast majority of those staff members agree that their organization’s culture is not as encouraging as they’d like with regard to meeting needs at work as well as needs at home.
So how can employees help to drive the work environment modifications needed to make sure the ever-growing army of working family caregivers is provided with both the understanding and resources required for an effective work/life balance? It begins with speaking up to generate the essential awareness of the matter. Employers need to comprehend the impact family caregiving has on their workers to be able to keep the people most likely to depart over caregiving stress: younger workers, higher-ranking workers, and higher-earning workers. Research and propose caregiving benefits the employer can provide, and then don’t be afraid to utilize those benefits when provided.
In addition, keep in mind that Responsive Home Care provides a very personalized eldercare solution in Sunrise and throughout Broward County that enables employed loved ones to focus more fully on their careers, knowing their senior loved ones are getting the top-quality care they require at home. Contact our Sunrise eldercare experts at 954-486-6440 to set up a no cost in-home consultation to explore our specialized in-home care services for seniors in Broward County, and how we can partner with your employer to investigate caregiving benefit offerings for staff members.