Recently, actor Rob Lowe brought family caregiving into the spotlight by sharing his experience of caring for his mother 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.”
Needless to say, this is nothing new to the large numbers of the U.S. workforce (3 out of 4 employees) who are simultaneously providing care for a loved one at home. And according to a survey performed by Harvard Business School, 80% of those family caregivers are finding it difficult to keep up with their work commitments as a result of their caregiving duties. And nearly one third of them wind up abandoning their careers to focus more on the care their loved one needs.
On the other hand, employers seem to be less tuned in to the challenges encountered by their workers, and the fatigue that comes from keeping up with duties 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 employees are in agreement that their organization’s culture isn’t as helpful as they would like with regard to meeting needs at work as well as needs in the home.
So how can employees help to generate the work environment changes needed to make certain that 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 build the essential awareness of the issue. Businesses need to realize the impact family caregiving has on their staff in order to be able to keep the employees most likely to leave due to caregiving stress: younger workers, higher-ranking workers, and higher-earning workers. Research and suggest caregiving benefits the employer can offer, and then don’t be afraid to use those benefits when provided.
Furthermore, remember that JFS Care provides an extremely personalized care solution which allows employed family members to focus more fully on their careers, knowing their senior loved ones are receiving the excellent care they need at home. If you’re looking for help at home in Los Angeles and the surrounding communities, contact us at (213) 383-2273 or toll free at (855) 455-2273 for more information on our specialized home care services. Additionally, we’d be happy to explore ways to partner with your employer to investigate caregiving benefit offerings for staff members.
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