Susan’s a grafter, always on the phone or tapping at her keyboard. But the truth is Susan spends hours of her workday speaking to solicitors and trawling the internet for advice on social care: her aunt has dementia and can no longer live alone.
It’s an increasingly familiar story, as our ageing population turns to its working-age children for informal daily care. It means many of your workers are not performing their best because of time and energy spent on their other ‘full-time job’. This includes hands-on care (the research, the phone calls, the visits) as well as feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression. Indeed, it could be a spiral into mental health problems for your staff, which can lead to long-term sickness, absenteeism and medical insurance claims for your business.
As one worker puts it: “I wasn’t doing nightshifts for the money. I was doing it for my dad. I worry more about him in the day shift.”
Even if your workers confine their caregiving duties to lunch hours, this is instead of taking the time out they need to be productive in the afternoon. They of all people need a walk in the fresh air, a break from their screens and some respite from their working-caring lives.
Research by Simplyhealth suggests that a company of 10,000 people could lose up to 1,670 hours a week to staff caring for ageing relatives. Over a year, it’s a loss of £1.1m.
It makes business sense to support your workers by giving them the resources they desperately need. Care for Life is a comprehensive source of advice on social care, health, finance and legal aid. It offers personal access to care and legal experts and a public support forum in which to share experiences. It’s time and stress off your people’s load that helps them to refocus on work.