Working While Caregiving
Have you ever had to cancel an important work meeting because it conflicted with your aging mom’s doctor’s appointment?
Do you use your lunch hour to check on your dad and make sure he took his medication?
Are you worried that your supervisor’s patience is wearing thin because you have so many unexpected family emergencies?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you’re not alone. New research has revealed that one-in-five full-time workers are also family caregivers – providing care on a regular basis for a family member or friend who is aging, has a serious illness, or has a disability. According to Working While Caring: A National Survey of Caregiver Stress in the U.S. Workforce, many of these full-time workers must go to part-time status or quit altogether due to their caregiving responsibilities.
“Caregiving can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be incredibly difficult,” said Sierra Goetz, co-founder and operations manager at the HomeCare Advocacy Network (HCAN). “The responsibilities that come with caring for an aging loved one can take a heavy toll on a family caregiver’s physical and mental health, personal relationships and, in many cases, their job.”
Sponsored by the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RIC), the study also showed:
- Employed family caregivers say their experiences with both their employer and their job while caring for a loved one are “stressful” and “difficult”.
- A majority of employed family caregivers have “frequently” or “sometimes” had to leave work early or take off from work for one or more days in a row, felt the quality or timeliness of their work suffered, did not take on additional responsibilities or projects at work and experienced a loss of income due to caring for their loved one.
- Nearly two in ten employed family caregivers said they had to quit their job, and more than four in 10 said they had to go part-time because of their caregiving responsibilities.
- The benefits caregivers say they used most (of those offered) and found most helpful are – flexible scheduling, remote work, reduction to part-time, job sharing, and specialized caregiver services.
“At HCAN, we understand the challenges that come with caring for an aging loved one, and we’re here to help,” Goetz said. “No one can do it all, and when you can’t be there, we can. Our trained professional caregivers can help with transportation, meal prep, light housekeeping, personal care, Alzheimer’s care, and more. Whether it’s a few hours a week or 24/7, we will work with you to develop a customized care plan that meets your family’s unique needs.”
To learn how we can help you maintain a healthy work-life – caregiving balance, visit hcanthrive.com.