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World Mental Health Day

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his past Tuesday was World Mental Health Day, but we believe that it is important to live every day with acceptance and compassion for those living with mental illness. This World Mental Health Day had a focus on mental health in the work place.
Majorities of respondents in a survey of North American working family caregivers, conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, report caregiving has put a strain on multiple aspects of their lives including:

  • Finances (60%)
  • Physical and mental health (74% and 81%, respectively)
  • Career (65%)
  • Ability to manage work/life balance (83%)

Thus, It is no surprise that the caregivers themselves are not the only ones affected. Senior caregiving in the workplace can have a negative impact on a business ranging from increased absenteeism to declining morale.

Here are the 5 Common Ways Eldercare Could Impact a Business:

  • Increased absenteeism: Unexpected senior care emergencies could pull employees away from work at the last minute. Studies have shown flexible scheduling could help. Data from a utility company that had tested a flexible scheduling program for one year found a 20 percent reduction of unexcused absences or two days per employee-year compared with employees who didn’t have access to this benefit.
  • Decreased productivity: Many employees themselves admit that caring for an elderly loved one and the accompanying fatigue and stress impact their productivity on the job. That’s where flextime could help. 41% of human resource directors in the Determining the Return on Investment study said flextime was associated with increased productivity, although 39% cautioned that drawbacks are scheduling difficulties.
  • Loss of talent: The 2017 National Study of Employers (NSE) sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that retaining employees was the top reason (at 39%) for employers to implement employee and family assistance initiatives. Many employers already recognize the problems they will face when they are unable to retain valuable talent because of workplace inflexibility. 
  • Interruption of services or work flow: Families spend 9 months preparing for the arrival of a new baby. They plan their leave time, employers arrange back-up for the employee and generally have an idea when the employee will return. No such predictability exists with senior care. Make sure employees are cross-trained to minimize the impact of emergencies.
  • Declining morale: “Employers don’t understand,” complained one working family caregiver. 11% of employers in the 2016 NSE study noted that their reasons for implementing employee and family assistance initiatives revolved around improving morale. Declining morale could diminish loyalty to an organization and have a negative impact on an entire team.

Lastly, Here are some tips about how family caregivers can talk with their employers about their own care needs.

  • “Do you know I am taking care of my dad? I would love to tell you a little about him and what I am doing to care for him. I am looking for ways to ensure I am always doing the best I can at work and at home.”
  • “I hope you know how much I value my job. That’s why I would like to make sure that my work is covered in the event of a family emergency. I would love to learn about any services our company has that could help me. And then, it would be great to work with you to put together a plan.”
  • “My dad needs to spend a week in the hospital next month and I would like to be with him since I am his caregiver. I have jotted down some ideas for how I could cover my job and my work while I’m gone. Could I schedule some time to discuss this with you?”
  • “A flexible start time would help me so much in ensuring that my father’s needs are covered before I leave for work. I believe that would help me be more productive on the job. Can I count on the company’s understanding?”



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