There are many different scenarios that can have an impact on your employee when their parents, grandparents, or other elderly relatives are struggling to manage at home. This can include a decline in health where the partner is unable to manage alone.
Your employee can find themselves needing to attend appointments at short notice, taking calls during the day or needing time off with short notice.
How is elder care impacting your workforce?
- The Rising Tide of Elder Care Responsibilities - The demographic shift towards an older population is a well-documented phenomenon, driven by factors such as increased life expectancy and declining birth rates. With this shift comes the growing responsibility for individuals to care for their aging relatives. By 2025 more people will be looking after an elderly relative than a child.
- Impact on Work Productivity - The dual responsibility of managing a career and providing care for an elderly relative can be overwhelming, leading to a noticeable impact on work productivity. Caregivers often find themselves torn between the demands of their job and the growing needs of their loved ones. This balancing act can result in decreased focus, increased absenteeism, and reduced efficiency, ultimately affecting the overall performance of the workforce.
- Stress and Mental Health Struggles - The stress associated with elder care responsibilities can take a significant toll on an individual's mental health. Caregivers will often experience heightened levels of anxiety, guilt, and exhaustion as they navigate the complex terrain of providing care while meeting workplace demands. The emotional strain can lead to burnout, jeopardizing not only the caregiver's well-being but also their ability to contribute effectively in a professional setting.
- Financial Consequences - Finding suitable and affordable elder care solutions adds an additional layer of stress for working individuals. The financial burden of caregiving, including the costs of medical care, in-home assistance, or assisted living facilities, can strain already tight budgets. This financial pressure can lead to difficult choices for employees, such as reducing work hours, taking unpaid leave, or even leaving the workforce altogether, further impacting career trajectories and financial stability.
What can you do as an employer to support?
As an employer, there is a lot you can do to alleviate the stress caused by any situations to do with elderly relatives. But also to support your employees and keep them at work and productive. The suggestions below should help you as a business to care for your employee’s welfare as well as lessen the impact on your business:
- Hold regular HR meetings offering 1:1 time to talk about any concerns/welfare
- Discuss flexible working hours
- Working-from-home options - if you are a business that is encouraging people to return to the office, consider offering your employees flexibility until they have something more concrete sorted.
- Short notice annual leave may be needed to attend appointments - be flexible and understanding with this
- A temporary reduction in working hours might reduce the amount of stress on your employees and ensure they don't end up having to take more time off due to burnout/mental health reasons too.
- Offering expert-led support through myTamarin where employees have access to experts who can help them navigate the options available to them and remove a lot of stress.
- Offer independent support for counselling around stress/anxiety/guilt/mental health issues such as depression.
There is no question that Covid has raised the profile of mental health. It has made it more acceptable to be open about our mental health and feel more confident in discussing this with employers.
What are the benefits of supporting employees?
By being proactive you, the employer, can benefit in some of the following ways:
- Reduced staff turnover
- Decrease in lost hours through sickness absence
- Company Loyalty
- Reduction in costs from employing temporary staff
With older people now staying at home because of concerns about Covid in care homes, and because of rising cost of living, there is greater pressure on family and friends to provide support. By being a proactive and supportive employer you will reap the rewards for your business!
Signing up to myTamarin will give your employees access to Elder Care consultants who provide virtual 1-1 support and help navigate the stressful path of the elder care market.