Click on any of the categories below to find quick tips and information on supporting your family life. Participating in the community, spending quality time with loved ones, and engaging in family activities can teach us how to better connect with people, foster a healthier and safer community, and open up opportunities that allow us to strengthen our support systems, to help us to better manage our family responsibilities, our work life and our own well-being.
Our families play an important role in our life. We go to them to seek advice, to find companionship, and to share our ups and downs with. These are the people who we love and trust but may also argue and fight with. Our family includes our parents, our partner, our spouse and our children. It can also include our friends, our co-workers, and also our pets.
Our families protect us from harm and we would do the same to protect them. It is inevitable that at one point or another, we will have to look after one or more of our family members. We may take on family responsibilities, like becoming the primary caregiver to look after an aging parent, or a family member with a disability. We may take on financial burden to support our children’s dream or career goal. We may also lend a helping hand to a friend or co-worker who is going through a tough time in life. Regardless of the situation, the choices we make to support our family have a cost. It demands our time and energy, can put a toll on our well-being, and may even put us at risk of getting injured. Being a caregiver can also impact our work life. Think of a time when a family issue came up that bothered you all night. How did it affect your energy, your mood, or your ability to focus on your job the next day?
weekends are about doing what everybody loves
fun at work
The reality is that our society is changing and so are our families. Family needs are no longer the same as they were decades ago. The roles of family members have evolved. The dynamics and support network within the families have also changed. Many of us will face tough challenges, and will have to make tough choices as we try to meet the demands of our work, personal and family life.
The good news is that there are many external support and resources available. Employers are one example. Many organizations understand the challenges we face outside of work can impact the workplace. To support us, these workplaces will have initiatives such as wellness programs and flexible work arrangements. Government agencies, care communities and non-profit organizations could be helpful as well. These groups may be able connect us with the support we need, or offer assistance programs that can help to reduce our burden. That said, these resources do have limitations and may be valuable only to a certain extent. All families have their own unique set of challenges after all. There are no ‘quick fixes’ or one-size-fit-all solution. Explore this site to see if there are resources, tips or information that you can use to support you and your families health, wellbeing and safety.
- Duxbury L & Higgins C. Revisiting Work-Life Issues in Canada: The 2012 National Study on Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada.
- OECD (2011). Doing Better for Families.
- Vanier Institute of Family (2017). A Snapshot of Family Caregiving and Work in Canada.
- Statistics Canada (2012). Portrait of Caregivers.
- Statistics Canada (2015). Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report.
- Statistics Canada (2013). Portrait of Canada’s Labour Force.
- Canadian Index of Wellbeing (2016). 2016 National Index Report: How are Canadians Really Doing?
- Health & Safety Ontario (2011). The Business case for a Healthy Workplace.
- Roger Jones (2016). The Family dynamics we Grew Up with Shape How We Work.
- Unite for Sight. Module 1: Family Dynamics and Health.
- What Does “Family” Mean for You?
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006). Defining Family and Community.
- Duxbury L & Higgins C. Balancing Work, Childcare and Eldercare: A View from the Trenches.
- Ontario Caregivers Coalition. Caregiver Resources.