How to Balance Work & Caregiving

According to a Metlife Mature Market Institute report, June 2003, an increasing percentage of the workforce is actively involved in caring for a relative or friend age 50 or over. Both women and men are equally likely to report themselves as the primary caregiver.

It is estimated that 15% of the workforce may be actively involved in providing care for an older family member or friend. This percentage is only anticipated to increase as the population ages.  For most caregivers, time is a precious resource. Taking time off, coming in late to work or leaving early are common accommodations to care for a family member.

Some 60% of caregivers say they experience depression, according to an earlier survey by the National Family Caregivers Association. The rate is even higher – up to 76% – among those caring for loved ones with dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The price of such depression and burnout is high both for the caregivers and their aging parents or loved ones. Caregivers suffer more stress-related illness than others their age, according to the association. And, ironically, burnout is the leading reason caregivers say they eventually put their loved ones in nursing homes.

The study showed that both women and men, when faced with eldercare responsibilities, could benefit from assistance with assessment of family needs. Most people did not know what services or benefits are available to them.

Caregivers may find some relief by using the services of a home health care agency. Agencies provide certified and experienced caregivers that go to the client’s home and provide care. These agencies can offer hourly or live-in care, depending on the family’s need. By choosing the right home health care service, family members can guarantee compassionate care for their aging parents, while allowing the parents or loved-ones to remain in the comfort of their home. Home health care is the ideal, cost-effective alternative to nursing homes.