Finding the Perfect Balance

March 14, 2011




Family Caregiver Demands Affect Absenteeism and Productivity in the Workplace

About 20 percent of our workforce is dealing with a caregiving situation and  family caregiving responsibilities can negatively affect workplace morale, job productivity and employer costs. Fairfax County workers battle many hurdles during the course of the workday morning.   Crummy traffic conditions, bad-weather delays, elementary school carpool lines, leaky dishwashers and cranky pets are just of a few of the top reasons for workplace tardiness.

Some studies estimate that interruptions from family caregiving demands translate to an annual loss of $33.6 billion for American businesses.

Eldercare, or “The Silent Productivity Killer,” leads to losses in productivity that arise from:

  • Absenteeism
  • Workday interruptions
  • Replacement of employees
  • Inattentiveness to work
  • Unpaid leave
  • Employees stepping down from full-time to part-time employment

How does the typical employee balance work and family?

40 percent of employed caregivers take 17 days of unpaid leave per year to care for a senior family member*.

53 percent of family caregivers say caregiving is taking a toll on their job**.

62 percent of working family caregivers say they make some sort of workplace accommodation***.

Sources:  *  Informal Caregivers of Disabled Elders with Long-Term Care Insurance, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services  **  Home Instead Senior Care Survey  ***  2010 MetLife Study of Working Caregivers and Employer Health Care Costs

What are some of our options?

Family caregivers may wish to develop a list of local resources such:   adult day services, in-home care services for seniorsfamily caregiver support groups and home delivered meals programs.

If you have a solution to balancing work and family caregiving demands, please share your comments below or on our Caregiver Forum.

Alisa Meredith, Writer

Guest writer Alisa Meredith is a blogger and social media professional with Scalable Social Media. Every once in a while, someone at Home Instead does something that compels her to stop Tweeting and write something real! This is one of those times.

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