Challenges and Opportunities
Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Cary Cooper and Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou
Chapter 8: Balancing eldercare and work
As populations age in most parts of the world, a growing number of employed individuals are becoming caregivers. According to a report published by Carers UK (2013), “by 2050 globally three times more people of working age will be looking after two billion aging family members” (p. 8). Because caregiving and careers tend to peak at the same time – between the ages of 45 and 64 – eldercare is the new frontier of work–family balance and an emerging issue for human resource managers. Compared to other work–family issues, eldercare is less frequently studied by scholars and discussed at work, but this trend seems to be changing as more caregivers disclose their needs and experiences. In this chapter, I will review the latest international research on balancing eldercare and work, paying special attention to equity issues such as unequal caregiver outcomes, uneven access to resources and stigmatization of caregiving. I will then present two case studies of workplace-based eldercare assistance in the United States that broadens employee access to eldercare resources. In doing so, I hope to contribute to “more support [for] . . . and legitimization of caring issues in the workplace” (Carers UK, 2013, p. 12).
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