You Know You Are a Caregiver If….

by Kevin K. Johnson, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

“You know you are a caregiver if…”.

This take-off of a somewhat famous comedy act is anything but funny! Caregiving is serious business; definitely not for the faint of heart, and generally unavoidable because no matter what, life just happens and we have to react.

That said, I read a piece recently that addressed something I’ve written about prior. Simply put, employees in particular, seem to not want to acknowledge the fact that they are also caregivers. There is an utter reluctance to identify with adult caregiving for an elderly senior; almost as though there is a stigma associated with caregiving in the workplace. It’s one of the biggest reasons why employer’s don’t know how big of a problem (+$30 billion per year in the U.S.) they are experiencing from employee lost productivity due to caregiving for an elder adult loved one.

Daughter Helping Mom with Medicine

So, just to be clear, “You know you are a caregiver if…

  • You arrange and take your parents to their doctor appointments.
  • You help with household chores like picking up groceries or prescriptions or cleaning house for your parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle, even neighbor.
  • You help them pay bills, manage their financial accounts, ro make financials decisions.
  • You help them with activities of daily living like eating, getting dressed, or taking a bath.
  • You are thinking of asking for a  change in working hours to accommodate the needs of your elder loved one.
  • You have reduced your hours on the job to facilitate the needs of a senior.
  • You are considering relocating or changing your living arrangements to allow you more time for your senior loved one.

OK, I could go on, but I think you get the point. What’s more, if you are an employer, you might have a better idea of what to observe in your employees behavior as a tip-off of caregiving challenges they might be experiencing, but not telling you about.

Remember, employees don’t tend to openly tell you they are being challenged with caregiving issues.

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