Practical Ways to Create More Caregiver-Friendly Workplaces with Debbie Howard, Author, Speaker, and Founder of Aging Matters International (AMI)
Currently, there are about 40 million working caregivers in the United States. What does this mean? In America, $68 billion dollars a year is being lost by US companies. We are losing money with absenteeism, presenteeism, and retaining our caregiver workforce. How do we support working caregivers?
My guest today is Debbie Howard, an author, speaker, and founder of Aging Matters International. Thank you, Debbie, for amplifying caregiver-related challenges and providing much-needed solutions.
As Debbie states, "Caregiving does not spare any generation". Debbie was running a business in Japan and had lived there for many years when she needed to move back to South Carolina to take care of her mom. In the midst of juggling work, keeping her job afloat, and the challenges that came with balancing work and caregiving turned Debbie into an advocate so others can have a better caregiving experience in the long run.
Debbie and I had the opportunity to meet and spend time together at The Care Colloquium. I have long admired her work as she is illuminating the need to support our family caregivers. As we teach our younger generation the importance of caring for those around us and advocating for our needs we can be a beacon of the virtuous cycle that we talk about today. As we share our stories and normalize conversation, change will come, and I am hopeful for that.
Debbie shares about:
The state of the global caregiving crisis
How the caregiving crisis impacts the workplace and companies
The business case for companies to implement caregiver-friendly policies
The ways we can identify who our caregiver employees are
Where we can begin to foster employee wellness
Challenges in the workplace to support caregivers
The practical ways that companies can support caregivers
How companies of any size can improve the offerings to support employee caregivers
About Debbie Howard
Through her 30+ years of work in Japan, Debbie translates consumer research into clear strategic direction for global clients across a wide range of categories - including age-tech products and services. Also a former caregiver on a mission to change the way the world looks at caregiving, Debbie’s work focuses on helping companies create more caregiver-friendly workplaces by supporting their employee caregivers, while reducing the related risks of absentee-ism, turnover, and future healthcare costs. For individuals, her offerings include curated resources to help with navigating the many aspects of caregiving, as well as a free annual self-care challenge.
Debbie co-moderates three “Rethinking Aging” Clubhouse programs (Age-Friendly Products Alliance sponsored by AARP, News for the Ages, and Shifting the Culture of Caregiving), and two podcasts: Women Who Care and Caregiver Camps, and is a frequent podcast and webinar guest.
With the launch of AMI in 2016, Debbie brought her market research acumen to the world of caregiving.
Her first book (The Caregiving Journey: Information. Guidance. Inspiration.) supports individuals in going beyond logistics in managing their caregiving situations with ease and grace.
Her second book (The Caregiving Crisis: What It Costs Your Business and How You Can Fix It) was released in March 2022, and guides companies with practical ways to support their employee caregivers and create more caregiver-friendly workplaces.
To learn more and connect with Debbie Howard:
https://www.thecaregivingcrisis.com Contact: Debbie@thecaregivingcrisis.com Download our complimentary resources for BUSINESSES here: https://thecaregivingcrisis.com/resources/ For Individuals: https://www.thecaregivingjourney.com Contact: Debbie@thecaregivingjourney.com Download our complimentary resources for INDIVIDUALS here: https://www.thecaregivingjourney.com/resources/
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Nicole Will is our host and founder of willGather.