The greatest taboo in the workplace

Menopause and Eldercare.

Even on their own they are subjects that people find hard to talk about. For one reason or another these key parts of human life lack the transparency they deserve. For the longest time, menopause has been a very uninformed subject. Seemingly swept under the proverbial carpet, it still struggles to be talked or taught about in our society. However, In more recent times, there have been more spokespeople rising up to challenge the status quo. Davina McCall and Gabby Logan are just two of the names at the forefront of the discussion, adding their thoughts and experiences in mainstream media. This pedigree has been most welcome to bring female health into the more modern era and a topic of discussion.

However, the ever-important matter of Eldercare has yet to have its time to shine. Perhaps this is due to the fact that people find mortality hard to think about.  Nevertheless, whether it is your own old age or the thought about your parents and grandparents, Eldercare affects everyone. That data is set in stone. Whether it’s organising care for a loved one, setting up Power of Attorney, writing a Will or enacting a care assessment, there is a distinct lack of information in the media. The less conversation we have in public on eldercare, the less we hear about in the workplace. This makes it increasingly hard for employers and managers alike to empathise and help support their staff.

Now, imagine combining the two taboos and you have a percentage of people that are rarely spoken of. Those going through menopause and having to care for an elderly loved one. You may think this is a mere percentage, but due to people living longer it is a common occurrence. Add these tough conversations to the melting pot of working a full-time time and you can only begin to imagine the strain on one’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Menopause and care

We spoke to Dr Rosie Shire, a GP and menopause specialist, about the subject of menopause and care.

“Menopause can affect women in their 40s and 50s, and sometimes starts earlier. This is often the same time of life when we are starting to worry about our elderly parents and wondering how we can support them. We often hear about the symptoms of menopause being hot flushes, but women going through it know there’s much more to it than this.”

“Some of the most frequently experienced symptoms of menopause include memory problems, insomnia and night sweats, fatigue and joint pains, anxiety and depression. All symptoms can appear for the first time or are exacerbated during menopause. The stress of trying to care for or navigate the care system for elderly relatives can compound this and leave you feeling utterly overwhelmed.”

Menopause expertise

“It’s cliche to say, but in these situations it is important to look after yourself first.” says Dr Rosie Shire.

“If you become exhausted then you’re not going to be able to support your loved one. It’s important to ensure that you are eating a healthy diet and not relying on junk food and coffee. Taking some time every day for yourself, ideally getting some exercise, even if it’s just a walk to the from your desk, can help lift your mood, and give you a chance to process things. Being worried or stressed can make it harder to get to sleep, and the hormone changes at menopause make this worse.”

“If your menopause symptoms are affecting your daily life, you may find HRT to be helpful. HRT can reduce or eliminate symptoms such as hot sweats, brain fog, loss of confidence, anxiety, depression, insomnia, as well as providing protection against heart disease and osteoporosis. Feeling better in yourself can help you to look after your loved one and get them the support they need.”

For more information about menopause, including a symptom checker & about HRT, see mylahealth.co.uk

Eldercare Expertise

As Dr Rosie Shire alluded to, Self Care is incredibly important to deal with menopause. And the exact same can be said for Eldercare. If you are struggling with the effects of menopause and caring for an elderly loved one, don’t be afraid to look for support. Whether it’s friends, families or professionals, it is a near impossible task to live with menopause, care and work all at the same time.

At Seniorcare by Lottie, we are always here to help and relieve any burden when it comes to care and work. If it’s a 30 minute call or 6 months of care planning needed, our care experts are best placed to relieve stress and give you all the advice and guidance you need. We are determined to break the taboo of Eldercare and ensure that employees can understand, find and fund care when they need it most.