It is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you have your job, which offers you purpose, fulfillment, and of course, a paycheck. On the other hand, you’re taking care of someone you love. Trying to give 100% to these two crucial roles can leave you mentally and physically spent, with little if any time to care for yourself.
You’re not alone. Nearly 6 out of 10 family care providers over age 50 are also working outside of the home. How do they balance caregiving and a career?
How Can Family Caregivers Manage Caregiving and a Career?
- Review your employee handbook. It might have been years since you’ve cracked open the handbook you received when you were first employed. And back when you were first hired, your personal circumstances might have looked completely different from how they look now. Go back and re-read the policies with respect to family emergencies or medical needs, flexibility in working hours, and FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act). If the company you work for employs a minimum of 50 people, and you have worked there for at least one year (for at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months), you’re eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing your position.
- Get respite care. Whether you opt to modify your work schedule to better support your caregiving tasks, or you decide to continue to devote yourself fully to your work, respite care from a trusted senior care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any holes in care, from just a few hours weekly up to full-time, around-the-clock care. This allows you the freedom to choose to:
- Work from home with caregiving support at your side, enabling you to concentrate on your work while still being present with your aging loved one
- Work full-time while knowing an experienced caregiver is at home preparing meals and providing light housekeeping, assisting with personal care, offering transportation and companionship, etc. so that you can come home and simply enjoy time with your loved one
- Find any blend of the two that best works for you, with a fully trained and experienced caregiver filling in the gaps accordingly for seamless care
- Talk to HR. Once you’ve made a decision to explore a modified work schedule or to take some extended time away from work, plan a time to consult with your HR representative. Explain the situation as well as the solution you would like to look into. You may also want to see if there is the option to work from home, either part or full time, even if just temporarily. The earlier you have this meeting, the better. You don’t want to wait until you’re in crisis mode to try to come to a resolution.
At Absolute Companion Care, serving Baldwin, Cockeysville, Glencoe, and surrounding areas, we partner with family caregivers in whatever way works best for them and the senior they love. Let us make it easier for you to enjoy a better balance between caregiving and your career with award-winning respite care services. Contact us at 410-357-9640 to learn more!