Have you had to take days off from work due to your caregiving responsibilities? Are you considering retiring early, going part-time or taking a hiatus from the workforce so that you can be more available to take care of your loved one? If so, you are far from alone.
Family caregivers – such as those caring for an elderly parent, a special needs child or a loved one facing a serious illness – are often faced with these difficult decisions when the daily demands of caregiving start to become too much. According to a major study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, some working caregivers reported having to take a leave of absence (17 percent), shift from full-time to part-time work (10 percent), quit work entirely (6 percent), lose job benefits (5 percent), turn down a promotion (4 percent) or choose early retirement (3 percent).
What are the long-term repercussions of these missed work days? They might be more significant than you think. American businesses lose between $11 billion and $29 billion a year in reduced productivity from working caregivers, according to a recent MetLife study. And the costs for you as a caregiver are even steeper. The same study found that the lost wages/benefits for the average female caregiver – including Social Security and pension payments – totaled an estimated $324,044. For all 10 million caregivers age 50 and over who are caring for a parent, the estimated cost of lost wages/benefits came to staggering $3 trillion.
One way to help prevent missed days and decreased workforce participation is to ensure you have a backup when something happens with your loved one during the work week. How do you do that? The first step is downloading and joining Care3 and building a team of family members and close friends who care about your loved one.
We call this care-sharing.
These are the folks who you know want to help out and have expressed as much. Get them all connected via our iPhone app and discover how simple it is to get help using the simple behavior of text messages, even at the last minute. They’ll all get the message instantly, and by the sheer virtue of having multiple people on your team, it increases the chances that someone is available to pitch in.
As an example, let’s suppose your mother – who lives with you and doesn’t drive – fell down this morning. She says she’s fine, but you’re concerned that something’s wrong or that she might have broken something. Now, instead of your only option being to take a vacation/PTO day, you have the ability to put out a request for help and see if there are any team members available to take your mother to the doctor or ER. Within minutes, you get notified that your retired neighbor Millie, who is close with your family, has volunteered. Now you can relax knowing that your mother will get checked out and that you won’t have to reschedule your big presentation at work. Other team members – including your siblings and cousins – can communicate their relief and gratitude to Millie by sending “Thanks”. And, finally, Millie will feel appreciated and valued due to all those “Thanks” piling up.
Care-sharing. It’s a win-win for you, your family and friends, and your career.
You work hard. You have earned that next promotion. Suddenly, you’re thrown for a loop because your mom has been diagnosed with a chronic condition. She needs your help and a lot of it. The time you would normally devote to crushing it at work is now dedicated to caring for the person who’s cared for you most of your life. Now you’re missing work due to caregiving responsibility and that promotion you worked so hard for is in jeopardy. This can’t be happening! And yet it is–and you’re not alone.
The interaction between you and your healthcare provider, e.g., a doctor or nurse, can either motivate you to follow your treatment plan by making it easy for you to understand and follow—or it can leave you confused, scared and clueless on how to best take care of yourself. Only one thing matters when you’re sick—getting better.
Your healthcare team is supposed to supply you with a care plan detailing your path back to better health, especially when you leave the hospital. Care plans are important because they lay out what care steps you should take when you’re at home or otherwise away from health settings. However, think about when you receive your care plan—at hospital discharge, right? When you know it’s time to go home, what’s the first and only thing on your mind? GET ME OUT OF HERE!
Ask us about our jobs and we will go on and on about our industry, company, and our latest highly-deserved promotion. Ask us about our investments and we’ll brag about where we put our money and why it’s a winning strategy. But ask us about our families, and we immediately enter the realm of “polite company.”
Successful caregiving depends on having the goals set and the tasks (medications, ADLs, etc.) laid in a routine that you can follow every single day. The faster you get into that routine, the better your caregiving will be and the better your loved one will feel.
At Care3, we call this routine your “groove.” Getting into your caregiving groove means you’ve integrated caregiving into your personal and professional life. When you’re in the groove, you’re efficient, effective, and your stress level is manageable.
To help you get into your caregiving groove, we’ve created a Starter Care Plan of eight (8) common care tasks that you can enter into Care3 as Actions and get into your groove fast. Once you add each Action in the Care3 app, you’ll receive text message reminders to help you and others deliver the best care for your loved one. You can accept the Actions yourself or your Care Team can help out!
Are you overwhelmed by caregiving responsibilities and costs? Do you feel like it’s ALL on you?
The number of adult children who are caring for an aging parent – either with personal care or financial assistance – has more than tripled in the past 15 years. During this same period, we’ve faced chronic wage stagnation, longer workdays (the US now leads the world in paid hours worked per week), a severe recession and a retirement crisis. This has placed an incredible amount of stress on a generation of middle-aged Americans who are in many cases supporting both their children and parents at the same time. And it’s taking its toll. A recent MetLife study found that adult children 50 and over who are caring for a parent are more likely to have fair to poor health than those who are not caregivers.
Care3 was created with you in mind, as well as those who are caring for a special needs child or a loved one facing a serious illness.