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Conversation Starters: How to Talk to Your Employer About Your Caregiver Support Needs

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May 31, 2017

Caring for your dad is becoming more difficult. You're exhausted and struggling to keep up with your workload. Maybe it's impacting multiple areas of your life.

Majorities of respondents in a survey of North American working family caregivers, conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network, report caregiving has put a strain on multiple aspects of their lives including:

  • Finances (60 percent)
  • Physical and mental health (74 percent and 81 percent, respectively)
  • Career (65 percent)
  • Ability to manage work/life balance (83 percent)

Not only do you like your job, you need it to pay the bills. So how do you broach the subject of family caregiving without the fear that you could be jeopardizing your job?

"Do you know I am taking care of my dad? I would love to tell you a little about him and what I am doing to care for him. I am looking for ways to ensure I am always doing the best I can at work and at home."

"I hope you know how much I value my job. That's why I would like to make sure that my work is covered in the event of a family emergency. I would love to learn about any services our company has that could help me. And then, it would be great to work with you to put together a plan."

"My dad needs to spend a week in the hospital next month and I would like to be with him since I am his caregiver. I have jotted down some ideas for how I could cover my job and my work while I'm gone. Could I schedule some time to discuss this with you?"

"A flexible start time would help me so much in ensuring that my father's needs are covered before I leave for work. I believe that would help me be more productive on the job. Can I count on the company's understanding?"

Think about ways to make the most of the time you have with your boss.

It is important to suggest ideas that work for both your employer and you, and to provide an opportunity to test out your plan to make sure that it does, in fact, work.

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