Caring for an elderly or disabled loved one is a full time job. For many family caregivers, however, it’s also their second full time job. Balancing work, home-life, and caregiving puts a great deal of stress on a person, both mentally and physically, and that stress can oftentimes carry over into the workplace.
Approximately one in four households is involved in the care of a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member, and just over 50 percent of family caregivers also work full time at a paying job. With such an influx of caregivers in the workplace, there are some telltale signs of stress for which employers and fellow co-workers need to be on the lookout. If you notice the following behaviors in the workplace, it might mean that the family caregiver is experiencing caregiver stress:
Talking too fast or too loud (when this has not been their usual behavior or personality)
Frequent yawning (on a daily basis, particularly when they haven’t had any associated illness)
Twitching, nail biting, pacing, etc.
Irritability, being overly critical or overly sensitive, anger or irrationality when responding to problems
Inability to concentrate
Difficulty making decisions
Making frequent mistakes
Noticeable confusion or worry
Changing work habits
Neglect of personal appearance or hygiene
Stressed caregivers/employees are more often likely to miss work due to illness or their caregiving responsibilities. So what can companies do to ensure their employees maintain a better work/life balance? Employers can partner with a local qualified home care agency to offer “elder care” benefits to employees. Sometimes, paying for the home care services can save employers hundreds of dollars in lost productivity or lost employees. Or simply paying for the employee to be off for a couple of extra days while they “de-stress,” ultimately saves the company money. It actually helps businesses maintain productivity and healthy employee caregivers while providing an excellent addition to the employee benefit package.
If you recognize yourself in this position or know of someone who’s sandwiched between working full-time and caring for a loved one at home, consider retaining the services of a home care agency. We at Aaging Better In-Home Care know all too well the consequences of how stress can threaten the health of not only the employee but also the company’s work environment. An over-stressed caregiver could also threaten the health of the elderly or disabled individual they’re caring for.
Please call today to learn more about our home care and respite care services and how we can partner with your company to create a better work and home environment for your employees.