In recent years, the role of a caregiver has gone beyond the traditional definition. Companies and employees alike are joining the conversation around caring for loved ones, yet misconceptions persist. Misconceptions lead to prejudice, and prejudices take hold in conversations, making it difficult to enact meaningful change. As the demands of caregiving affect more and more employees, it’s crucial to dismantle these misconceptions to foster a more supportive and inclusive workplace.
We’ll delve into some of the most prevalent misconceptions about caregiving that your employee caregivers may encounter on a regular basis. Also, we’ll explore how HR leaders can collaborate with employees to break down barriers that surround caregiving and caregiver support in the workplace.
Check out the most common ones below, and think about how you, your leaders and your employees can work to expel these misconceptions in your workplace:
Only women are caregivers.
Now, it’s no longer just moms and women taking care of their loved ones. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men are caregivers. Employees of all genders are taking on caregiving responsibilities, and they’re all more likely to struggle to balance their work and home lives. In fact, 32% of employees have left a job during their careers due to caregiving responsibilities.
Caregiving is only a paid career path.
Nearly 60 million people in the U.S. and Canada provide unpaid or undocumented care for family members, friends and fellow coworkers. Caregiving can be a career path, with professionals providing care in the forms of medical treatment, medication management, transportation and personal care. Oftentimes though, it is hours of time—a second, third or fourth job—for a working parent, spouse or friend.
Only those with serious illnesses need caregivers.
Anyone who requires physical or emotional support from a loved one deserves a caregiver. This includes children, healthy older adults, spouses, friends, coworkers and anyone else who needs support.
Caregivers don’t need help.
At Cariloop, we always say, “No one should go through caregiving alone.” We mean it, especially when many caregiving employees don’t know they can get support for the tasks and responsibilities they take on daily. They deserve help and support while supporting their loved ones, no matter who they consider family.
Caregiving is free labor.
On the surface, providing unpaid care might look like a money-saving option, but it’s costing families a lot more than we think. According to a study by AARP, family caregivers spend an average of more than $7,000 per year on out-of-pocket caregiving expenses.
It’s more important than ever to dispel these caregiving misconceptions and recognize that employee caregivers encompass a diverse group of individuals who play vital roles both in their professions and in their caregiving duties. Without support, this large employee population is more likely to leave the workforce, take extended leave and be less engaged day-to-day. By challenging these popular misconceptions, employers can pave the way for meaningful change that nurtures an environment of empathy, compassion and engagement.
At Cariloop, we provide dedicated, holistic support to caregivers at any point in their journey. We pair them with an experienced Care Coach and a digital platform to pull it all together. Additionally, we help people work through the big and the small moments because caregiving isn’t a one-time event—it’s something employees are doing every day for their loved ones.
To take the next step for your workforce’s well-being, schedule a demo with Cariloop today.