Adult social care is in crisis. The funding shortfall and diminishing care provision are having a knock-on effect on local authorities, the NHS and businesses.
With one in nine employees in the UK also providing care (rising to one in five among the over-50s), there are likely to be carers in your workforce.
Your ‘hidden’ carers could be affecting your business through lost productivity and absenteeism. They are often stressed, lonely, isolated, depressed and struggling.
It is a human crisis that demands a human response. Here are a few suggestions that could make a big difference to your carers:
1. Walk a mile in a carer’s shoes
Managers need to engage and empathise with the needs of carers if they’re to get the best out of them. Insight and training are essential.
2. Create space to share experience
Tackle isolation at work by offering a forum or meet-up sessions for your carers. The Simplyhealth Care Community online forum is a great example – 2,000 members share advice and experiences.
3. Accentuate the positive
Carers are often torn between work and caring, feeling they do neither well. Regular reassurance that focuses on the positive aspects of their work will boost morale.
4. Take an interest
Talking about their everyday experience of caring will help a carer feel a valued part of the team, rather than on the outside looking in.
5. Support their need for information
Carers can spend hours (often during work time) piecing together information they vitally need. Simplyhealth Care for Life is a comprehensive resource that saves them time, stress and anxiety. It offers accessible information on social care, health, finances and legal assistance, with the option to contact an expert for personal advice.