“So much of caregiving goes underreported because of the stigma. It’s fun to talk about children at work, but it’s not fun to talk about our declining parents.”
This is what Paul Hogan, founder and CEO, said as he talked about a new Home Instead program called Daughters in the Workplace which looks to help with the need to create a supportive working environment for family caregivers.
As the world grows older, so does the population. There are more people over the age of 60 than under the age of five and women are some of the most impacted. Daughters are the backbone, taking on most responsibility of caring for aging parents. In fact, two thirds of caregivers are female.
This program brings forward a variety of tools for HR professionals and family caregivers to start conversation and action for working daughters who need and deserve support. Home Instead wants to create a caregiver friendly environment in the workplace.
While there may be a senior parent or loved one at home under the woman’s care, the same expectations are upon her at work as before she became a caregiver. There is no support for those who are caregivers and because of this their careers suffer or they are seen differently in the workplace. According Canadian statistics in 2012, a staggering 8.1 million Canadians were looking after family members or friends which is 28% of Canadians ages 15 and older. With such a large number of people affected, the Daughters in the Workplace program is just the beginning!
The strain on a woman in the workplace can range from often feeling the need to choose between being a good employee and a good daughter to work quality suffering because of where their time must be invested. Not only have these women noticed a stigma attached when taking time off to care for a loved one but they have also seen supervisors being unsympathetic when it comes to their balancing act. 26% of those that took the Home Instead Survey reported a workplace stigma with caregiving.
Despite support – sacrifices must still be made however, Home Instead wants to alleviate as much as they can to create a society where daughters can feel comfortable going to their jobs without worrying about the lack of care they can give while at work. Awareness and education is the place to start according to Hogan. The end result should empower family caregivers to ask their employers for help juggling the two “jobs”- caregiver and employee.