Professional Impact of Caregiving and What Employers Can do to help?

It is becoming increasingly critical for organizations to understand the demographics of workers and caregivers affected by mental health. While a number of people require caregiving, 72% of caregivers assist someone over the age of 50. The article identifies practices that support employees with eldercare responsibilities.

In a US study, 57% of caregivers have said that they were caregiving and working at the same time. 66% of these caregivers felt that caregiving affected their work. The study shows that caregivers are distracted, absent or stressed. These factors have direct and indirect costs for employers including increasing turn over costs.

A study by the American Psychological Association has shown that caregivers deal with more stress and cope with it using unhealthy behaviours. On the other hand, caregivers who felt adequately supported had lower levels of stress and dealt with it better. Caregivers who have a good support system from the community and their family and friends demonstrated much healthier behaviours and showed less isolation, loneliness, depression, irritability, and less risk of chronic disease.

“The caregiver group seems to do much better when they are plugged into some sort of a support system,”

Organizations can provide better support for their caregiving employees by providing a variety of different benefits, these include paid Leave and flexible timing, caregiving consultants, other employee benefits but most importantly provide support groups for employees.

Implementing these techniques will change how employees view the company. It will boost employee satisfaction and reduce negative outcomes of caregiving. Fewer accommodations will need to be made and the retention rate of employees will increase as well. However, in order to implement these techniques organizations will have to understand their workforce and their requirements, train supervisors and managers about caregiving and educate the employees on how to be workers and caregivers.

As the number of ageing people in need of care continues to rise, the number of people who retire at 65 continues to dwindle. This leads to a workforce with such age diversity in it that the need for communication that is appreciated by all ages is sorely needed. This is an issue that needs to be made a priority for all companies.

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