Work Life and the Unexpected Effects of Chronic Disease and Family Caregiving

Employ Work Life BalanceBy Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG

Achieving a work-life balance is challenging for many individuals depending on life-stage: some employees may be raising children, others experiencing health issues of their own, some supporting adult children with the care of grandchildren, or caring for aging parents. Companies experience financial costs related to a lack of presenteeism at work meaning the degree to which an employee is present and attentive to the work at hand or the degree to which the employee’s attention span wanders in favor of worry or focus on family and personal concerns. Other challenges experienced include lost time due to employee illness or caregiving for children or other family members. Poor health costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year in lost productivity due to issues of presenteeism and illness.

Caregiving due to the number of family caregivers around 34 million and increasing daily who are mainly women, will pose an unexpected and significant financial effect on company employee retention and management in the coming years. Many human resource departments have not fully considered the impact of family caregiving but rather focus on compartmentalized subject matter that includes the impact of children on working employees, the costs of employees with poor health, retirement planning, and so on.

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Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA, Certified Senior Advisor specializes in working with family and professional caregivers to navigate healthcare and aging concerns. Wilson, an expert in the field of caregiving, has personally helped thousands of family and professional caregivers since 2000 in her career as an advocate, a care navigator, and an educator. Through her company, The Care Navigator, she is an advocate and service provider in the roles of guardian, power of attorney, care manager, and transition specialist. She was producer and host of The Caring Generation®, from 2009 to 2011, an educational radio program for caregivers on 630 KHOW-AM.  In addition to her work at the Care Navigator, Pamela gives back to the community by serving as chairperson of the Community Ethics Committee in Denver, Colorado.

Her new book, The Caregiving Trap: Solutions for Life’s Unexpected Changes, is available through all major bookstores as well as on You can find her on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In.

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