Family Caregiver Consumers Are Everywhere

We need to remember we have family caregiver consumers everywhere.

Lots of news this week about the family caregiving experience and companies launching services to help them, including:

  • A new report from S&P Global about the working family caregiver. Research from the report found:
    • Most respondents (84%) said caregiving had a moderate or high impact on their overall level of stress, and 67% said they had at least some difficulty in balancing work and life responsibilities.
    • Half of working caregivers reported making work scheduling changes, including going in early, leaving late or taking time off from a job because of caregiving responsibilities.
  • Uber launched Uber Caregiver to help family caregivers organize transportation and grocery delivery for their carees.
  • A Place for Mom isn’t a helpful service for many, many awful reasons. (It’s also not free. Your caree pays for the referral fee that A Place for Mom receives through higher rents and/or a “community fee.”)
  • Axios Future of Health Care took a look at our aging demographics, reminding us of this startling stat and this insight that is our reality:

    • There are signs that Americans now in their 40s and 50s will be even less healthy than today’s seniors when they hit retirement age, and among this group there are widening disparities that will likely keep growing.
    • The U.S. is also woefully underprepared for the burden that aging seniors are expected to place on the health care system — particularly in terms of workforce demands — and support systems, whether formal or informal.” We’re also unprepared for the impact on family caregivers.

We’re really at the edge of cliff. If we can’t figure out how to keep family caregivers employed and engaged in our communities and our health care system fully staffed, then the drop off the cliff will be significant. Everyone will be impacted.

Family Caregiver Consumers Are Everywhere

I believe a simple perspective shift can help. So much focuses on the working family caregiver. We need to remember we have family caregiver consumers everywhere.

When an employer accommodates its employees with both remote and flexible hours, then the employer has staff available to help during hours when family caregivers need to make a purchase — evening and weekends.

For instance, if our local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) allows flexible work hours for their employees with caregiving responsibilities, then we could connect with the staff at the AAA in the evening and on the weekends. Instead, we struggle to make a phone call to connect with the AAA staff to find help during a short window of time, like between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Imagine what would happen if our local AAAs led the change around flexibility in order to better serve clients and customers in a caregiving situation.

I often spend time reminding colleagues that family caregivers aren’t stuck in a few categories, like work and caregiving. We’re consumers, clients, buyers, worshippers, voters, neighbors, managers, leaders, owners, donors, creators, subscribers, participants, developers, artists, change-makers.

When we make adjustments that help family caregivers, then we create solutions that keep businesses thriving, communities flourishing and families managing. When we help family caregivers, we help everyone.

(Image by Charles Thompson from Pixabay.)

Resources

  • I’d love to know more about your spending habits during your caregiving experience. The survey will take about 7 minutes. Take the survey.

  • We held a special event last week called Impact Caregiving. During 6, 25-minute workshops, I offered insights to help small business owners who serve family caregivers. Watch the archive of Impact Caregiving.
  • I hosted workshops and conversations last week about the caregiving experience, including Do We Need a POA for Love?, The 17 Caregiving Systems, Our Self-Care During Caregiving. Watch our articles on our YouTube channelor in our Learning Center space on CaringOurWay.com.

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