It is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you’ve got your work, which supplies you purpose, fulfillment, and of course, an income. In contrast, you are caring for someone you love. Trying to give 100% to these two vitally important roles can make you feel physically and mentally exhausted, with little if any time for self-care.
You are in good company. Approximately 6 out of 10 family caregivers over age 50 are also working outside of the home. How do they balance a career with care duties?
How Can Family Caregivers Balance a Career With Care Duties?
- Take a look at your employee handbook. It might have been years since you have taken at look at the handbook you received upon employment. And back then, your personal circumstances probably looked very different from how they look now. Go back and read the policies again concerning family emergencies or medical needs, flexibility in working hours, and FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act). If the company you work for employs at least 50 people, and you have worked there for at least 12 months (for not less than 1,250 hours during those 12 months), you’re eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without concern about losing your role.
- Consider respite care. Whether you choose to modify your work schedule to better accommodate your caregiving responsibilities, or you choose to continue to dedicate yourself fully to your career, respite care from a dependable in-home care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any gaps in care, from just a couple of hours every week up to and including full-time, around-the-clock care. This permits you the freedom to select to:
- Work from home with caregiving help at your side, allowing you to concentrate on your work while still being present with your family member
- Work full-time while knowing a skilled caregiver is at home preparing meals and providing light housekeeping, assisting with personal care, offering transportation and companionship, etc. to enable you to come home and simply enjoy time with your loved one
- Find any blend of the two that best meets your needs, with a fully trained and experienced caregiver filling in the gaps accordingly for consistent care
- Speak to HR. Once you’ve made a decision to explore a modified working arrangement or to take some extended time away from work, schedule a time to speak with your HR representative. Explain the situation and the solution you would like to look into. You may also wish to see if there’s the possibility to work from home, either part or fulltime, even if just on a temporary basis. The sooner you have this discussion, the better. You don’t want to wait until you are in crisis mode to try to reach a resolution.
At Abby Senior Care, serving Denver, Centennial, Aurora, and the surrounding areas, we partner with family caregivers in any manner that works best for them and the person they love. Let us help you enjoy a better balance between caregiving and your career with award-winning respite care services. Contact us at 303-699-8840 for more information!