April 5, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought caregiving into the public eye by discussing his experience of caring for his mother and the toll it took 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.”

Of course, this is not anything new to vast majority of the United States workforce (3 out of 4 employees) who are concurrently serving as the caregiver for someone at home. And based on a report carried out by Harvard Business School, 80% of those family caregivers are struggling to keep up with their career obligations as a consequence of their caregiving duties. And as many as a third of them end up abandoning their careers to concentrate more on providing the care their loved one needs.

Yet on the other hand, employers seem to be less tuned in to the difficulties encountered by their staff, and the fatigue that results from keeping up with responsibilities between home and work. In the report, employers give such explanations 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 agree that their organization’s culture isn’t as supportive as they would like with regard to fulfilling needs on the job as well as needs at home.

So how can employees help to push the work environment changes needed to make sure the ever-growing army of working family caregivers is given both the understanding and resources needed for a successful work/life balance? It begins with speaking up to generate the necessary awareness of the matter. Businesses need to understand the impact that serving as the caregiver for a loved one has on their staff if they want to keep the personnel most likely to depart over caregiving stress: younger workers, higher-ranking workers, and higher-earning workers. Investigate and recommend caregiving benefits the employer could offer, and then don’t be afraid to use those benefits when provided.

Furthermore, remember that At Home Independent Living, providers of the top rated home care Syracuse, NY seniors need, offers a very personalized care solution that enables employed loved ones to concentrate more completely on their careers, confident their senior loved ones are getting the superb care they want at home. Reach out to us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to arrange a free in-home assessment to learn more about our professional in-home care services for seniors, and how we can partner with your employer to investigate caregiving benefit offerings for staff members.