Recently, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the public eye by sharing his experience of taking care of his mom and the toll it took 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 nothing new to the great numbers of the United States workforce (3 out of 4 employees) who are simultaneously providing care for someone at home. And based on a report performed by Harvard Business School, 80% of those family caregivers are having difficulties in keeping up with their work commitments due to their caregiving duties. And close to 1/3 of them end up giving up their careers to focus more on the care their loved one needs.
Yet conversely, employers seem to be less alert to the challenges faced by their employees, and the fatigue that comes from keeping up with responsibilities between home and work, pointing out in the report explanations 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 staff members are in agreement that their organization’s culture isn’t as helpful as they’d like in regards to fulfilling needs at work along with needs at home.
So how can employees help to drive the workplace modifications needed to make sure that the increasing army of working family caregivers is given both the understanding and resources required for a successful work/life balance? It begins with speaking up to produce the necessary awareness of the matter. Employers need to understand the impact family caregiving has on their workers in order to keep the people most likely to leave over 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.
At the same time, keep in mind that Home Sweet Home In-Home Care provides a very personalized care solution that enables employed family members to concentrate more completely on their careers, confident their parents are experiencing the best in Kalamazoo senior care. Reach out to us at (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, 269-763-5350 in Paw Paw, 269-963-9888 in Battle Creek or 269-373-5444 in Kalamazoo or contact us online any time to set up a complimentary in-home consultation for more information on our professional in-home care services for seniors, and how we can partner with your employer to discover caregiving benefit offerings for employees.