Employers have long recognized the necessity for new mothers or fathers to take time away from their career to focus on the various requirements of an infant, but what has been identified much less is the equally important need for adult children to take time away to look after their aging parents. But as our life expectancy continues to expand, and as baby boomers are going into their senior years, the balancing act to take care of professional and family lives is now more prevalent.
Trying to balance a career alongside senior care requirements can be extremely challenging. In fact, providing care alone, without adding in work-related stress, places family caregivers at a higher chance of depression, substance abuse, and a range of physical issues: heart-related illnesses, infections, and cancer, just to mention a few.
And while the Family and Medical Leave Act helps to ensure that employees of larger companies gain access to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, only 13% of employees receive paid family leave – a crucial component for several to make sure financial requirements are met. And a full one out of every seven employees who take care of an older parent wind up reducing their time in the office, accepting a lesser-paying position, or leaving the workforce entirely.
One potential solution to keep an eye on is the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act, or FAMILY Act, introduced a short time ago to give partial income to family caregivers for up to twelve weeks for providing care for a family member facing a health concern. To date, five states have passed similar policies (New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and California – plus Washington, DC).
Despite the fact that paid leave for caregivers is costly for companies, 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 one other option already available to all family caregivers: partnering with an expert home care agency like Generations at Home. We provide loved ones with the peace of mind needed to focus on the job, confident their senior loved one is receiving the best possible quality of care, customized to each individual’s distinct needs.
Contact us at 727-940-3414 for more information about our quality St. Petersburg, FL in-home care services, to request educational resources specific to the precise challenges your senior loved one is encountering, and to request a free in-home assessment to understand how we’re able to enable you to establish a healthier life balance.