Caring for sick or elderly family members is still mostly women’s work, according to research. The emotional labor and unpredictability of this work takes a heavy toll on caregivers; it impacts our wellbeing, finances, and careers. And while companies have gotten better about acknowledging and accommodating childcare, many could offer more support and flexibility to their employees taking care of adults.
We talk with Anne Bardoel about what the research says about women and eldercare. She’s been through it herself, and she offers strategies to cope with the negative effects like exhaustion, isolation, and depression. She also gives advice to employees and managers on how to start conversations about caregiving commitments. Then, we hear from a woman who was thrust into caring for her parents and in-laws a lot sooner than she expected.
Our HBR reading list:
“No One Should Have to Choose Between Caregiving and Work,” by Jody Gastfriend
“Caring for Your Company’s Caregivers,” by Sarita Gupta and Ai-jen Poo
“Making Caregiving Compatible with Work,” by Nanette Fondas
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Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.
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