Continued from last week’s blog: A Day Like Any Other…Life Interrupted
Welcome to the wonderful world of family caregiving! Keith now becomes part of the 35% of employed Canadians who provide unpaid care to a family member or friend.
A 2015 Employer Panel Report, called “When Work and Caregiving Collide: How Employers Can Support Their Employees Who Are Caregivers” found: “The majority (74%) of caregivers provide nine or less hours of care per week. However, 16% provided 10-29 hours of care, while 10% provided a very intensive level of 30 hours or more. Not surprisingly, the more care a person provides, the greater impact it has on their ability to work. The survey showed, for example, that 38% of caregivers who provided 20 or more hours of care per week reduced their regular working hours, compared to 25% of those who were providing less than 20 hours.”
So how is Keith going to manage his competing demands? A few questions he needs to consider:
- Does his employer offer an employee assistance program?
- Can he talk with an elder care counsellor for some direction and resources?
- Can he take time off from work?
- Is his wife onboard?
- Do his parents or does Keith have a flexible benefit plan? Some plans include the services of a registered social worker and as well some plans cover families’ nursing and care services.
If the answer to the above questions is yes, then he is fortunate!
If he is doing this on his own, then the range of options to be considered should include plans for the immediate as well as longer term and include:
- full time care at his parent’s home for mom arranged from a reputable home care company
- respite care in a retirement community for both his mom and his dad
- provision of care at Keith’s home for his mother until his father is ready to return home
- start or continue the conversation regarding making a plan and ensuring all of the appropriate paperwork is in place.
Lesson Learnt: (excerpt from the Panel Report) “Caregiving is an issue that will affect most Canadians at some point in their lives. As our population ages and labour force growth declines, the need to support employees with caregiving responsibilities will grow. Helping employees balance work with their caregiving responsibilities will have a positive impact on the Canadian economy by decreasing costs, such as impact on job performance, absenteeism and productivity, for their employers.”