Supporting employees who are caring for someone with dementia

As our population ages – and so too our workforce – dementia is becoming all too significant for many who are combining work and caring for older, sick or disabled parents and other loved ones.

According to projections by Mercer in its Workforce Monitor Report, there will be 300,000 fewer workers under the age of 30 over the next eight years, while there will be one million more aged over 50 as a result of falling net migration and ageing baby-boomers.

Just over half (53%) of those caring for someone with dementia said their work had been negatively affected due to their caring responsibilities and the associated stress, anxiety and tiredness, according to a survey by Carers UK and Employers for Care.

Half the UK’s 6.5 million carers are juggling paid work alongside caring. Within the total population of carers, the number of people caring for a loved one with dementia is rising and is set to reach 850,000 by 2020.

It’s perhaps unsurprising then that 1 in 6 leave work or reduce their hours to care, according to employers’ membership forum Employers for Carers. But unless an employer has actually experienced first hand the pressure of being a carer, it’s understandably difficult to know where to start when it comes to ensuring appropriate support.

There are some simple strategies to support this group of people 

1. Adopt a best practice approach to employing carers. 

Investigate membership of employer support forums such as Employers for Carers – which offers training, consultancy and a range of practical toolkits including ‘Developing a carers’ policy’.

2. Ensure signposting is tailored & appropriate. 

Better equip your line managers to know what information is available to employees and when a short-term absentee might require professional support.

3. Maximise employee usage of added value services.  

Regularly communicate to employees the support services that may already be freely available to them. Group income protection, for example, can include eldercare support services via Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and second medical opinion services.

As a business, the Alzheimers Society is our chosen charity and on the 8th September eSift & HorrexCole are raising money by completing a Memory Walk in Brighton. You can sponsor us here –

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