Businesses have long acknowledged the desire for new parents to take some time away from their career to concentrate on the various requirements of a baby, but what’s been recognized much less is the essential need for adult children to take time off to look after their older loved ones. Yet as our life expectancy continues to increase, and as baby boomers are entering their senior years, the balancing act to take care of career and family is starting to become more prevalent.
And aiming to manage a career alongside senior care requirements can be hugely complicated. In fact, providing care alone, without adding in work-related stress, places caregivers at a higher likelihood of depression, substance abuse, and a number of physical concerns: heart disease, infections, and cancer, just to mention a few.
And even though the Family and Medical Leave Act helps to ensure that employees of larger companies get access to twelve weeks of unpaid leave, only 13% of employees receive paid family leave – a significant thing for many individuals to make sure monetary needs are met. And a full one out of every seven employees who care for an older family member end up reducing their time at the job, taking a lesser-paying position, or departing the workforce altogether.
One solution to keep an eye on is the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, or FAMILY Act, introduced in 2017 to give limited income to family caregivers for as much as twelve weeks for providing care for a family member facing a health concern. Currently, five states have passed similar policies (New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and California – plus Washington, DC).
While paid leave for caregivers is expensive for businesses, Maureen Corcoran of Prudential Financial notes, “It is not more costly than losing employees early to disability, to early retirement, to presenteeism (when employees show up for work but don’t get much done).”
Thankfully, there is another option readily available to all family caregivers: partnering with an experienced home care agency like North River Home Care. We offer family members the peace of mind needed to focus on the job, confident their senior loved one is receiving the highest possible quality of care, customized to every individual’s distinct needs.
Give us a call at 781.659.1366 to learn more about our professional in-home care services, to request educational resources specific to the struggles your senior loved one is encountering, or to obtain a free in-home assessment to learn how we can allow you to regain an appropriate life balance.