A family caregiver, sometimes referred to as an unpaid or informal caregiver, can be defined as any relative, partner, friend or neighbor who provides a broad range of assistance for a child, a loved one who is aging, a loved one with a serious illness, or a loved one with a developmental disorder or disability.
Caregiving responsibilities range widely in nature. Anything from picking up groceries for an aging parent, to researching occupational therapy for a loved one with special needs, to attending doctor’s appointments with a partner who is ill, can all count as caregiving. Sometimes we think of caregiving as only something that happens in times of crisis, such as caring for a loved one after they’ve been hospitalized, or finding a long-term care facility for a loved one with noticeable memory decline.
However, this is just not the case. Caregiving happens each and every day, more than you know, and even the smallest of caregiving responsibilities can add stress, work, and worry to our lives.
Family caregivers may be primary or secondary caregivers and live with, or separately from, the person receiving care. Those who care for a loved one from a distance are often called “long-distance caregivers.” For these individuals, coordinating care, ensuring their loved one’s well-being, and providing companionship can be even more of a challenge.
Those who provide care for a loved one often do so over several years. In fact, the average unpaid caregiver spends 4+ years navigating the work, worry, and stress of caring for an adult family member, according to AARP. For many, caregiving is not just a blip in their life, but a near constant. This often takes a toll on the caregiver’s career, mental and physical health, and their overall ability to thrive.
1 in 5 full-time workers is a caregiver, providing care on a regular basis for a loved one who is aging or has a serious illness, developmental disorder, or disability. Many must go to part-time status or quit altogether due to caregiving responsibilities. Your employees’ caregiving responsibilities can have a big impact on your bottom line, including an increase in costly turnover, decrease in productivity, and declining employee physical and mental well-being.
Thus, the need to provide comprehensive support to your employees who double as caregivers is of paramount importance. Homethrive is here to help you explore ways you can support the family caregivers in your organization.
Ready to take the next step? Check out Caregiving 201 to dive deep into the caregiving support options available for your employees.
Want to get the ball rolling? Connect with one of our caregiving experts today!