Stress is on the increase. Overall, we work longer hours with less job security. Time, or the lack of it, is a huge issue. People feel over-committed and the work-life balance suffers. Recent figures from Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that middle-aged women in business are far more likely to suffer from stress than men within the same age range. There are 2,200 cases of stress per 100,000 working women aged between 45 and 55.
Judith Green is Managing Director of Versatile Lift Company, in Haydock, St Helens. She observes that while women may have achieved a lot, career-wise, they are still having to balance this with domestic responsibilities. “Many middle-aged women in business are now finding that they are having to care for elderly relatives in their free time”, she says. “There can be a transition from being a parent to becoming a carer with not much breathing space in between”.
Judith’s work brings her into contact with both carers and the cared-for, providing products for mobility assistance, often in domestic settings.
“I’ve witnessed first-hand the kind of pressures being a carer brings with it, especially for working women”, she explains, “and it’s made me wonder, who is caring for the carers?”
Judith is providing her own answer by setting up a support group focusing on women in this situation. She is also designing a course to address stress-related issues and how to prevent work burn-out. This will focus on three key areas;
- Time management
- Nutrition and health
“It is about self-care and how women, who have business responsibilities and are carers, also need to take care of themselves”, Judith continues. “My aim is to provide the right kind of support to enable them to do this”.
“There are worrying statistics indicating that stress in middle age may increase women’s risk of dementia”, concludes Judith. “The danger is that we end up in a vicious cycle where carers become ill and in turn contribute to the stress of those caring for them. I want to help prevent this from happening”.
Business Aspects Magazine appreciates Judith Green’s contribution to this article.