Balancing Work and Caregiving

Many people provide care for family members or loved ones at some point
in their lives. A care gap is emerging as family sizes shrink, the population
ages, the rate of disability increases, and the number of double income
households are on the rise. The number of seniors requiring care is growing.
More responsibilities - including transportation, meal preparation, personal
care, and managing finances - are being placed upon fewer shoulders.

These trends are impacting the growing number of worker-carers, who are family
members and other significant people who provide care and assistance to a
parent, spouse or life partner, adult child, sibling, or friend living with
ongoing physical, mental, or cognitive conditions, while also working in paid
employment. These worker-carers span all industries and occupations, in
companies of all sizes and sectors.

For worker-carers, the strain of juggling work and caregiving responsibilities
can be a challenging act of balance leading to increased absenteeism, decreased
productivity, poorer physical health, and burnout. Burnout is characterized by
energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from work, and
reduced professional efficacy. In addition to this stress, impacts can include
injuries that may occur, for example, when the caregiver is lifting or
assisting a person who has mobility issues. Sometimes the overall burden is so
great that worker-carers quit working altogether. Leaving the labour market
impacts not only the organizations who lose skilled workers, but also the
worker-carers who are left vulnerable to future economic losses and poverty.

In Canada a standard has been developed describing numerous actions employers
can take to support.

Further Information:

AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety