Businesses have long understood the necessity for new mothers or fathers to take some time away from their career to focus on the many needs of a new baby, but what has been acknowledged much less is the equally important need for adult children to take time off to look after their aging parents. However as our life expectancy continues to increase, and as baby boomers are entering into their senior years, the balancing act to manage professional and family lives is starting to become more prevalent.
And trying to balance a career alongside senior care needs can be hugely complicated. In fact, providing care alone, without adding in work-related stress, places caregivers at a higher likelihood of depression, substance abuse, and numerous physical concerns: cardiovascular illnesses, infections, and cancer, just to name a few.
And though the Family and Medical Leave Act ensures that employees of larger companies gain access to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, only 13% of employees receive paid family leave – a crucial thing for many to make certain monetary needs are met. And a full one out of every seven employees who care for an older parent end up reducing their time at work, accepting a lesser-paying position, or leaving the workforce entirely.
One potential solution to keep an eye on is the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, or FAMILY Act, introduced in 2017 to provide partial income to family caregivers for approximately twelve weeks for providing care for aging parents facing a health concern. Currently, five states have enacted similar policies (New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and California – plus Washington, DC).
Although paid leave for caregivers is expensive for employers and a comprehensive senior care leave policy is not near at hand, 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 news is, there is one other option readily available to all family caregivers: partnering with a knowledgeable home care agency like Midnight Sun Home Care. We offer loved ones the peace of mind needed to focus in the office, confident their senior loved one is receiving the greatest possible quality of care, customized to every individual’s unique needs.
Call us at (907) 677-7890 for more information on our expert Alaska home care, to request educational resources specific to the struggles your senior loved one is dealing with, or to obtain a complimentary in-home assessment to understand how we are able to help you establish a healthy life balance.