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How to Balance Caregiving and Being Employed

Written by O'Connor Professional Group
Published on May 15, 2024

Caregiving is a common source of stress and almost equally affects generations spanning from Baby Boomers to millennials. Gallup reports that one in six American workers serve as caregivers. The same report estimates that the cost of lost productivity due to absenteeism among caregivers is more than $28 billion annually.

How does caregiving impact employees?

Caregivers are likely to experience sadness, grief, frustration, and guilt. Social isolation is another component of psychological distress, as caregiving can limit social engagement, leading to loneliness and isolation. Many caregivers also feel they lack support from family, friends, or healthcare professionals and experience the strain of bearing the burden alone. Caregiving can also be physically demanding and cause financial distress. The responsibility may involve lifting and assisting with mobility, along with the costs of home modifications and medical bills. Financial strain may also result from reduced work hours if employees need to devote more time to caregiving. The tug between career and caretaking is further exacerbated by juggling other roles such as parent and spouse. This often leaves caregivers feeling overwhelmed and inadequate.

How to Manage Being a Caregiver While Working

Grandson and grandmother holding hands during conversation

There are a few things that can be done to navigate the responsibility of caregiving. First, caregivers need to recognize the signs of distress. Identifying anxiety, lack of focus, isolation, and resentment, as well as difficulty balancing personal and professional obligations, signifies the importance in asking for help. Communication with managers and peers is also essential, as is learning to prioritize projects and workload.

Caregivers must also learn to delegate and divide duties and block out time for breaks. Self-care is crucial: mindfulness and meditation, breathing, and exercise are useful techniques to combat the stress of caregiving. Finally, with employer awareness and support, caregivers will be better equipped to handle the balance of work and personal responsibilities, both in psychological well-being and work productivity.

Contact Us Today

To learn how OPG Employer Services can support your workforce, please contact Margaret Stone, Director of Employer Services at mstone@oconnorpg.com.

two people holding hands for care

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