As the population ages and more people have to balance caregiving and work, eldercare - looking after an older member of your family - must become part of a critical conversation at home, at work and in the media.
That is the conclusion of an article by Professor Lisa Calvano from West Chester University, USA, in the March issue of The Psychologist - the monthly magazine of the British Psychological Society.
In the UK the number of people aged 65 and over is expected double to 19 million by the year 2050. As a result, more family members will have to step in as caregivers and this can have serious consequences for their wellbeing and productivity at work.
Professor Calvano argues that if employers are supportive then staff in this position will experience less stress and fewer work-family conflicts. Where formal employee support programmes exist, people must know about them, feel comfortable asking about them and be assured there will be no penalty for using them. So education of supervisors and managers is crucial to increasing employees' awareness and use of such programmes.
"Just as parents have 'the talk' with their teenage children about life and the future, perhaps the time is right for adult children to institute 'the talk' when their parents and other elders reach a certain age. This talk would encompass what is needed to ensure both the health and safety of the elder and the well-being of the caregiver."