Caregiving isn’t just a family thing, it’s something that impacts each and every one of us.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than 15 percent of the US workforce plays a caregiving role. Yet most are reluctant to tell their employees about their situation for fear of the impact on their jobs and future promotions.
According to a MetLife study, many caregivers leave positions when the conflict between responsibilities gets to be too much. It ends up costing as much as $304,000 in benefits and wages over the average employee’s lifetime.
66 percent of all caregivers have reported to work late, left early, or have been forced to take time off during the day to deal with caregiving issues.
20 percent of all caregivers are forced to take a leave of absence somewhere during the process.
10 percent of all caregivers quit or take early retirement before they are ready due to caregiving needs.
5 percent of all caregivers say no to a promotion because they worry about how it will impact their caregiving duties.
Some of it is due to fear. Corporate structure is of such that we worry about job potential if we reveal weakness. We prefer to deal with it in our own way rather than asking for help from those around us.
It’s not that employers aren’t willing to work with a person; in most cases, it’s that they are simply unaware.
But it’s this communication breakdown between employers and employees that are contributing to the lack of support. The only way to change it is to reach out and talk about it and find out what your options are.
Some employers offer resources and services that can help a family caregiver. When employees don’t take advantage of the services, human resource analyzes and refocuses their needs in other directions.
Start by asking what is available to you. Don’t be afraid to open up about your situation and ask what can be done to support your needs. Even if they don’t have a program in place, it can open up the opportunity to learn. And even from the very first conversation, it may be enough to help you solve some of your needs and discover how you can continue doing what you do.