While focusing on feminism and gender equality, women are most certainly closing the gap. Strong career women are more prevalent than ever before. The burden of caregiving may affect their real potential. The truth is, we are living longer than ever before. With more medical conditions in our later stages of life.
Of course, both men and women act as primary caregivers. More often than not, this role falls on women. Of those in the workforce, this results in an immense burden. It is not only for their professional careers but also within their family life. Based on a new study, it appears that caregiving is affecting women in mid-career. Can you relate?
Study — There Are Career Implications Associated with Caregiving
Recently, a published study focused on working women and their role as a family caregiver. What they found, was that women caregivers were 8 percent less likely to work. Additionally, they found that caregiving roles are increasing. The current generation of women is more likely to provide care. In comparison to previous generations.
The report, while studying data from the Health and Retirement Study, was that one-third of women had provided care for either a spouse, parent, or in-law. While focusing on a parent, this caregiving role tends to peak around the age of 56. While concentrating on a spouse, caregiving does not generally become common until an individual is in their late-60s.
Based on the aging population, we are well aware that caregiving needs will continue to grow. Not only are we living longer. Experiencing higher rates of Alzheimer’s. However, families are also smaller today. Meaning, this burden is falling on fewer children, increasing personal responsibility.
While focusing on a survey from Genworth Financial, 11 percent of caregivers lost their jobs. Moreover, 52 percent of those who are caregiving, cut their working hours by 7 hours per week. For many low- and middle-class families, this can have significant economic consequences. Family caregiving is most certainly a growing concern. Especially because when it comes to work or family, there really isn’t a choice.
I am a Family Caregiver — and I Need Help
At this point, approximately 8 million Canadians are caring for a loved one. If you are one of these caregivers, there is support and help available. Although this role is emotionally and physically taxing, you are not alone. Here are a few tips to assist you along the way:
- Encourage independence. Do not feel like you need to do everything. Instead, encourage your loved one’s independence. Support their involvement. You can also seek the latest technology and caregiving strategies to reduce the overall burden.
- Keep reading. Education is imperative, whether you are caring for someone with cancer or dementia. It is critical that you learn more about your loved one’s condition. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.
- Learn to recognize your emotions. Some days, you will feel angry or even guilty. If this is the case, don’t bottle these feelings up. Allow yourself to feel them. It will help you accept the way you feel so that you can confide in others and improve your judgment.
- Don’t do it alone. If you do not have family or friends that can help with even the smallest of tasks, professional caregivers are available. Just remember, you need to be realistic about what your personal capabilities are. Perhaps you care for your loved one-half the time, then ask for help to address the remaining tasks. That way, you can continue to work. You can also look into community services. Such as caregiving for veterans or transportation services.
You can achieve balance in your life. However, you need to create an effective action plan and ask for help. Do not wait until you are burnt out to ask for assistance. Whether you require an overnight caregiver or a companion for your loved one, please contact us for a broad range of services.