"Elder care is the new child care," says Carleton University business professor

"We hope this research will help shape public policy to address the shortcomings in our systems and provide the much-needed relief and support for today's families." — James Clancy, NUPGE National President

Ottawa (14 Jan. 2016) —Dr. Linda Duxbury, a researcher, writer and business professor in the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University has been studying the issue of life-work balance throughout her career. She has been reseraching how workers manage demands and the impact this work-life balancing act has on them. 

Work-life balancing act has other stressors: caregiving and elder care

Her vast body of work demonstrates the struggle people go through to stay on top of work and family life. Families juggle priorities daily to ensure everyone is getting what they need, but there is a major issue being added to the mix: caregiving and elder care.

With the lack of long-term care spaces, shortage of hospital and chronic care beds people are having to be cared for at home. And, most often, this work falls to family members, especially women. 

“I would say very clearly elder care is the new child care,” said Dr. Duxbury in an interview with the Globe and Mail. But elder care is quite different than child care. “The emotional component of elder care is absolutely staggering.” 

NUPGE research shows major impact of caregiving on women

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) has been working on the issue of life-work balance for several years. In 2009, NUPGE launched a national survey —Quality of Women's Lives — to pinpoint the major issues facing women.

"This issue of work-life balance has been around forever," says James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "It's always been a juggling act, especially for women, to balance life at work and at home. The amount of caregiving people have to do is one more thing stacked on top of a very precarious pile of responsibilities."

National study designed to inform government and public policy makers

This year, NUPGE is participating in a survey developed by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research as part of its National Study on Balancing Work, Family and Caregiving. The study will exame the challenge of managing dementia and other neurodegenerative illnesses.

The overall objective of the study is to increase awareness for public policymakers and employersl of the challenges faced by those seeking to combine work, caregiving, and perhaps childcare and to make the business case for change.

"From our own research, we know that caregiving has a dramatic impact on people's lives," said Clancy. "We hope this research will help shape public policy that will address the shortcomings in our systems and provide the much-needed relief and support for today's families."

More information:

National Study on Balancing Work, Family and Caregiving 

Quality of Women's Lives

NUPGE 

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE