(Photo by Pexels)
Half of women who are working while also serving as caregivers for their aging parents or in-laws feel they have to choose between being a good employee or a good daughter, according to a survey1 by Home Instead Senior Care. These sacrifices in the workplace can leave working daughters — many caring for their own children as well — with undue stress in their lives and difficulty providing for their families.
By the numbers:
• Eight in ten working women say caregiving has strained their ability to manage their work/life balance.
• Nine in ten female caregivers were forced to take actions to accommodate being an employee and a caregiver, such as using vacation time to care for their parent, switching from full time to part time, avoiding certain responsibilities and turning down promotions.
• One in four reports feeling their career growth has suffered or that they have experienced workplace stigma due to being a caregiver.
Meanwhile, employers may encounter issues such as increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, loss of talent and declining morale.
Daughters in the Workplace empowers working family caregivers to start conversations with their employers about their needs. It also includes an interactive quiz and resources to help caregivers learn about protected family leave rights that may be available to them. In addition, the program details Caregiver Friendly Business Practices to help employers identify mutually beneficial support strategies for their caregiving employees.
Home Instead Senior Care offers the following tips to help family caregivers achieve better balance and health:
1. Be realistic. Take time to understand how much you can do to take care of a loved one, do well at your job and stay healthy. Take it one day at a time and don’t look too far ahead.
2. Take care of yourself. Be honest with yourself and your employer about what you need. Stay organized and get plenty of rest so you are better prepared to handle life’s daily challenges.
3. Arrange for help including respite care. Check with your employer about any back-up emergency services your employer might offer through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Think about ways others can help you. Check with your Area Agency on Aging (n4a.org) for community resources or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office to learn how professional caregiving can help you.
4. Educate your employer. Your employer may not understand the kinds of issues you are facing. Do what you can to explain your challenges.
5. Find support. Use your company’s employee assistance program (EAP) to find out what help your employer may offer. Join a support group in your area. Expand your network by looking to your faith community or friends for emotional support. You can connect with others going through the same circumstances. Make time for coffee or a movie, or join friends in an exercise class at your local YMCA.
1Between March 21 and 28, 2017, 1,001 working female caregivers, aged 45-60, were surveyed in the United States and Canada by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network.