Who are the caregivers in your organization?

If your organization has a healthcare or eldercare mission, it is easy to spot caregivers. Many of your employees are professional caregivers: nurses, social workers, physicians, physician assistants, therapists, and direct-care workers, known as hospital, nursing home, home health or personal care aides. They may have many years of college education, briefer technical preparation or on-the-job training, but these professionals are the core of your organization; they diagnose, treat and care for patients or clients, across the lifespan and around the clock.

In any other type of business, though, caregivers are less obvious because their work is not tied to your mission. Family caregivers spend personal time caring for their own family or friends who are ill, disabled, elderly or special-needs children. But if you look and listen you will see family caregivers in your workforce, men and women of any age or race, in any job or socio-economic group:

  • Leaving early to take a family member or close friend to medical appointments
  • Using personal and sick time to handle family health crises
  • Taking a leave-of-absence to be with someone close to them who is elderly, ill, disabled, or dying
  • Losing productivity and effectiveness because of caregiver burden or distractions
  • Shifting from full-time to part-time, or quitting their job because juggling work and family caregiving issues is no longer possible.

Take a moment and think, who among your employees is a professional or family caregiver?