A Juggling Act: Family Caregivers in the Workplace

April 10th, 2012

Studies report that roughly 29% of people in the workplace are involved in the care of an ill, disabled or aging family member or friend, with the need for family caregivers increasing each year. Individuals who take on the care of a family member essentially have the stress of two full time jobs on their shoulders – their career and providing care. This increase in stress has caused many family care providers to have to change jobs or quit working altogether to meet the demands of caregiving.

Workplace Issues
Employers are taking notice of the family caregiving trend as it has started to cause the following issues within the workplace:

  • Employees come to work late or have to leave early
  • Increased absenteeism and workday interruptions
  • Employees take unpaid leave or use personal and sick days to provide care
  • Refusal to relocate or participate in work-related travel
  • Refusal to work overtime or take on new assignments

For the Family Caregiver
If you are struggling with juggling a career and care for a family member, encourage your employer to consider possible solutions such as:

  • More flexible work schedules
  • Information about services for the elderly
  • Support from coworkers
  • Assistance in making care-related decisions

Caring for a loved one while also holding down a job can often be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. For more information about how in-home respite care can benefit both elderly individuals and family caregivers, contact Visiting Angels in Alameda County at (510) 284-0000 or in Santa Clara County at (408) 735-0977.