SUPPORTING FAMILY CAREGIVERS
Caregiving is not just about kids. In fact, it’s estimated that 53 million people—more than one in five adults in America—provide care for parents, grandparents, a spouse or partner, sibling, or adult children with disabilities. For 61% of these caregivers, this unpaid responsibility comes on top of their regular employment.
While many people feel privileged to have the time and resources to provide care to their loved ones, the mental bandwidth required to find help, access medical care, and manage daily routines often takes a personal toll. It can be helpful to read or hear stories and advice from other caregivers and important to acknowledge the real mental and physical health costs associated with this important work.
Access these resources that can help you manage your caregiving responsibilities:
The Senior Care Planning Program, which includes consultation with a social worker specializing in elder care.
Office of Work/Life elder care benefits for short-term backup care and longer-term solutions.
- Care.com’s Senior care planning blog, addressing burnout, guilt, and other relatable topics.
Remember to take care of yourself while you continue to take care of others:
Learn how guided imagery and mindfulness may stave off the depression that is associated with caring for a loved one with dementia.
Learn to practice mindfulness in caring for elders in this workshop on May 19.
Read the Caregiver’s Handbook: A guide to caring for the ill, elderly, disabled, and yourself from Harvard Health Publishing (25% employee discount with code HARVARD25).
- Register for the Mental Health Reset seminar from KGA on May 18.
Long-term planning for adults in your care—while also paying attention to your own financial future—often necessitates important financial decisions. Get the information you need in these online seminars:
Learn how to estimate financial needs, pay for expenses, protect elders from financial abuse, and access free resources by attending the HUECU Money Management for Elders and Their Caregivers webinar on Wednesday, May 4.
- Get estate and financial planning advice from TIAA webinars, such as Attention to Detail: Financial Finishing Touches for Women, and Estate Planning Considerations.
Too often, family caregivers can feel invisible and underappreciated. Know that we recognize your efforts and are working to support you while you support the ones you love.
Spring has sprung, and with it the return of beloved outside opportunities! Make plans to celebrate the warmer weather in and around Boston and Cambridge—and beyond.
- Take in the sights and smells of the blooming lilacs at the Arnold Arboretum on Lilac Sunday, May 8—back in person—and throughout the month with Lilac Tours.
- Visit both Zoo New England sites, the Franklin Park and Stone Zoos, with discounted passes from Outings and Innings (HarvardKey required). Toast the animals with an adult beverage at the Stone Zoo’s Ales & Tails spring fundraiser.
- Celebrate the longest day of the year and mark the beginning of summer—in person—on June 21 at Harvard Museums of Science & Culture’s all-ages Summer Solstice Celebration. Enjoy free admission, interactive fun, food, music, and more!
- Plus Outings and Innings (HarvardKey required) has discounted tickets to Southwick Zoo, Charles River Architecture Cruises, the Peabody Essex Museum, and more.
To get you in the mood, here’s a video preview of the HMSC Summer Solstice Celebration. Have fun and stay safe on all your spring and summer adventures!
Mind & Body
“These are the words I say before my feet hit the floor every day: Today I’ll choose courage over comfort.” — Brené Brown*
- Explore the rich tapestry of cultures around campus by joining a conversation group (available in several languages, including English) or by attending an event with Harvard Neighbors about anything from Greek sculptures to seasonal Japanese celebrations.
- Get ready for a unique Harvard Commencement celebrating three graduating Harvard classes! View the morning exercises for the class of 2022 and the celebration of the classes of 2020 and 2021 live, online. Check the commencement events schedule for dates and times.
- Find your new running group and experience the joys of a non-competitive, supportive running community when you use your harvard.edu email to subscribe to the Harvard on The Move and Harvard College Marathon Challenge email lists.
Learning & Growing
“If you’re not willing to fail, you can’t innovate. If you’re not willing to build a vulnerable culture, you can’t create.” — Brené Brown*
- It’s back! After a two-year hiatus, the Center for Workplace Development presents Career Connections across Harvard on June 9. Open to all benefits-eligible staff, this virtual event features a career fair, panel discussions, information sessions, and the ever-popular resume critique. Mark your calendar and visit the Resources for Internal Candidates page for registration information.
- Thinking about applying for a job as a manager at Harvard? Gain insights into the expectations and responsibilities of managers in this virtual workshop (HarvardKey required).
- Create a more inclusive campus for community members and visitors of all abilities: Learn how to make your websites, documents, and other digital communications fully accessible to all.
Living & Working
“I schedule my downtime and family time just like I schedule my work events—they are nonnegotiable.” — Brené Brown*
- During this National Mental Health Awareness month, take advantage of the resources on KGA’s wellbeing calendar to proactively improve your emotional wellbeing.
- Being a good listener is key to being a good communicator. Register for Mindful Communication: Speaking and Listening with Awareness or other courses from The Office of Work/Life Program Calendar (HarvardKey required).
- Get expert advice on your child’s learning needs, college plans, and more by connecting with a personal education advisor at EdNavigator.
Finances & Security
“The truth about asking for help with money is that everyone needs help with money…whether you have $10 or $10 Million.” — Brené Brown*.
- As you adjust to new schedules in our hybrid work environment, explore transportation options and benefits with Harvard’s commuting programs and discounts.
- Get answers to your financial questions through one-on-one consultations, webinars, and workshops found on the financial education calendar.
- Don’t miss out on one of the great benefits of Harvard employment: membership to the Harvard University Employee’s Credit Union (HUECU). A not-for-profit institution, the HUECU offers credit cards; home, car, and education loans; and financial education services to you and your family. ECS permits are available for purchase at the Campus Service Center.
*Brené Brown, PhD (b. 1965), is a social work researcher, teacher and best-selling author whose writings, podcasts, and filmed lectures explore how emotions like courage, vulnerability, shame, empathy, and leadership affect how we interact with one another.