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One in Four “Daughters in the Workplace” Experience Stigma Due to Caregiving

Jul 06, 2017 • by Home Instead Senior Care
Senior with daughter

Home Instead Senior Care Offers Resources to Support Employees Caring for Aging Parents

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – A new survey[i] by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, found that half of working female caregivers feel they have to choose between being a good employee and being a good daughter. In addition, a quarter (25%) of working daughters report they find a workplace stigma in being a caregiver, and 23 percent have found that their supervisor is unsympathetic.

In an effort to start a conversation about how working family caregivers can be better supported in the workplace, the Home Instead Senior Care network has launched a new public education program, Daughters in the WorkplaceSM. The new program offers free resources to help working family caregivers feel empowered to talk to their employers about their needs, while also identifying caregiving support that may be available. The program also provides information to help employers understand what their employees want and need as caregivers, including Caregiver Friendly Business Practices.

“All too often we see working caregivers feel that they have to make a choice between work and their aging loved one,” said Bill Carroll of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Central and North Montgomery County. “They are often unaware of what resources are available and how to navigate those conversations with their employer. That is why Home Instead is committed to not only empowering family caregivers with the knowledge of the help that is available to them, but also bringing awareness to employers on the importance of creating a supportive workplace environment for caregiving employees.”

Research shows that women are twice as likely as men to spend more than 30 hours a week on caregiving. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), working female caregivers average nearly double the amount of time caring for aging loved ones, compared to their male counterparts (9.1 hours a week vs 5.7 hours). What’s more, many women are a part of the sandwich generation, caring for an aging parent or relative while also caring for their own children.

According to Home Instead’s survey, 91 percent of female caregivers report having had to take action to accommodate being an employee and a caregiver. The most common actions include taking paid time off, switching from full time to part time, avoiding certain responsibilities and turning down promotions. All of the hours spent caregiving – combined with the sacrifices made in the workplace – can leave daughters in the workplace with undue strain and stress in their lives.

While women make up two-thirds of family caregivers, the solutions to addressing caregiving challenges in the workplace are gender-neutral.

Drew Holzapfel, ReACT (Respect a Caregiver’s Time) convener, explains that a significant issue facing all working family caregivers is often that they don’t realize the benefits they may be eligible to receive from their employers. “Flexible time can have a stigma, and working caregivers might not know they can use FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) for senior care, or they might not know how to access their EAP (Employee Assistance Program),” said Holzapfel.

To help educate working family caregivers on these resources, DaughtersintheWorkplace.com includes an interactive quiz in which caregivers can equip themselves with the knowledge of protected family leave rights that may be available to them. Additionally, the website includes conversation starters and health tips for caregiving employees, as well as communication tips for employers and signs caregiving employees need support.

“The hope is that by highlighting the struggles that family caregivers experience, and providing them with solutions and tips they can implement in their home and work lives, we can help ensure they are happy and healthy in their work lives while also being able to provide their loved ones with the care they need,” explains Carroll.

Family caregivers and employers can view program resources and tips at www.DaughtersintheWorkplace.com. Or, contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office for additional resources and to learn how their professional CAREGiversSM may be able to assist. Find an office near you by visiting www.homeinstead.com.

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE

Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today this network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and in over 10 countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGivers worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.

[i] Between March 21 and 28, 2017, 1,001 working female caregivers, aged 45-60, were surveyed in the United States and Canada by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network.

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