How To Balance Work And Caregiving For Elderly Seniors
You have one job that provides you with a paycheck, and you have your second job of taking on the role of a caregiver for a loved one.
Having dual roles can be one extremely challenging juggling act. Staying on top of your job and caring for an elder can be a lot to manage. Not to mention the rest of your other responsibilities to add to the mix, including taking care of your children, cleaning your house, cooking dinner, plus more!
A U.S. national study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP in 2015 discovered that “70% of working caregivers suffer work-related difficulties due to their dual roles.
Many caregivers feel they have no choice about taking on caregiving responsibilities (49%). This sense of obligation is even higher in caregivers that provide 21 or more hours of care per week (59%) and live-in caregivers (64%). 60% of caregivers in 2015 were employed at one point, while also caregiving.”*
If you have a full-time job and have the responsibility of being a caregiver, you need a set game plan of how to manage both positions. Continue reading to find out some useful tips for you to stay on top of your job, while still providing the best care for your loved one.
Be Honest with Your Employer About Caregiving & Working Full Time
Initiating the conversation with your employer about your caregiving obligations can definitely be an intimidating task, but has to be done!
Communicating with your boss about your role as a caregiver is crucial. If your performance at work is not up to par, your employer may understand and empathize with your situation if they are fully aware of the obstacles you are facing.
Also, do your research to find out if your job offers flexible hours or any other caregiving policies within the company.
Having a supportive, considerate, and encouraging job is essential in order to succeed in your career and be a caregiver at the same time. Don’t forget to express that you are committed to your job and want to continue to perform at 100%.
Staying Organized is Key
What are the times and dates of each doctor’s appointment? What pills does my mom have to take after dinner? What were the results of dad’s blood test?
There is so much vital information to remember, it will make your head spin. Staying organized is the key to balancing your career and caregiving. Create an effective organizational system that works best for you.
Keep a record of all the important and up to date information that can be easily accessed. Creating a monthly schedule of your responsibilities of work and caregiving will be imperative for all parties.
Staying organized and prioritizing tasks will only be beneficial by supplying you with more precious time and making your everyday life much less stressful.
Must Take Time for Yourself
It is an absolute must for you to take time for yourself. Having your own time will help manage your stress, as well as contribute to your physical and mental strength to perform at your best – at work and at home as a caregiver.
Skipping “me time” is one of the most common mistakes you can make as a caregiver, particularly if you are working full time as well.
If you don’t take a break once in a while, you will eventually endure the caregiver burnout, which affects your state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.
The caregiver burnout will negatively affect all aspects of your life including at home and at work. The common signs from the caregiver burnout is having no energy, trouble relaxing, irritable, and ultimately feel helpless and hopeless.
In order to not get to this point, try to practice personal care every so often – take on a new hobby, go out for happy hour, take an exercise class, or just relax with a new book.
Take Advantage of the Resources Around You
Taking on the role of a caregiver while working at your full-time job means you have less time in the day compared to everyone else.
Taking advantage of the valuable resources around you, from new advanced technology that can provide telemedicine, which is essentially a doctor appointment through video chatting on a smart device, to food delivery services such as “Meals on Wheels”, who delivers meals to individuals at their residence who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals.
There are also adult day care services, transportation services, respite care, nutritional programs, and even support programs that are established for the actual caregiver. These are just a few helpful resources to utilize as a caregiver while maintaining your full-time job.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Support
Being a caregiver and holding onto a job is hard to do alone. Don’t hesitate to ask for help! Ask your neighbors, family members, friends, and community to help.
Whether it’s cooking meals, keeping your loved one company, doing their hair, grocery shopping, cleaning, or even helping out with the laundry! Asking for help can be the simplest task and can make the biggest impact on your life.
Something else to consider is joining a support group, whether it’s online or in your neighborhood. Members in your support group will know exactly what you are experiencing and struggling with on a daily basis, giving you a community to turn too.
Research has proven that caregivers who seek support are less upset by a person’s memory problems, as well as relieving depression. Meaning, when caregivers are pleased with their social support, they feel less stressed and overwhelmed. As a direct result, this will not only benefit you but also the loved one you are caring for.
Author the Author:
Kristen is a writer working with eFamilyCare, which is an innovative and beneficial tool for all caregivers. eFamilyCare is an online family caregiving service that connects you with experienced care advisers devoted to assisting you in caring for your loved ones.
Our expert care advisors will aid you in creating a tailor-made program that offers continuous support for your family caregiving. Take the stress out of caregiving and sign up for eFamilyCare today.
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