Recently, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the foreground by discussing his journey of caring for 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.”
Admittedly, this is nothing new to the large numbers of the United States workforce (3 out of 4 employees) who are simultaneously providing care for a loved one at home. And according to a study carried out by Harvard Business School, 80% of those family caregivers are struggling to keep up with their professional commitments as a consequence of their caregiving duties. And as many as one third of them end up giving up their careers to concentrate more on the care their loved one requires.
Yet in contrast, employers seem to be less tuned in to the challenges faced by their workers, and the stress that results from balancing duties between home and work, noting in the study 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 majority of those staff members are in agreement that their organization’s culture is not as helpful as they would like in regards to meeting needs on the job as well as needs at home.
So how can employees help to generate the workplace improvements needed to make certain 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 understanding of the issue. Businesses need to realize the impact being a family caregiver has on their employees in order to retain the employees most likely to leave over caregiving stress: younger workers, higher-ranking workers, and higher-earning workers. Investigate and suggest caregiving benefits the employer can provide, and then don’t be afraid to use those benefits when offered.
In addition, keep in mind that Midnight Sun Home Care provides a very personalized care solution which allows employed loved ones to focus more fully on their careers, confident their parents are receiving the superb care they need at home. Contact us online or call us at (907) 677-7890 to arrange a complimentary in-home consultation to let us show you how our care team provides professional companion care services in Matanuska-Susitna, AK and the surrounding area.