It is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you have your job, which gives you fulfillment, purpose, and of course, a paycheck. On the other hand, you are providing care for someone you love. Striving to give 100% to these two very important roles can leave you physically and mentally emptied, with little if any time to care for you.
You’re not the only one. As many as 6 out of 10 family caregivers over age 50 are also working outside the home. What are their secrets to obtaining a healthy work/family caregiver balance?
How to Manage Caregiving on Top of a Career
- Take a Look at your employee handbook. It might have been years since you cracked open the handbook you received upon employment. And back when you were first hired, your personal circumstances probably looked very different from how they look now. Go back and re-read the policies regarding family emergencies or medical needs, flexibility in working hours, and FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act). In the event that the company you work for employs a minimum of 50 people, and you have worked there for at least 12 months (for at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months), you are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing your job.
- Speak with HR. Once you’ve decided to explore a modified working arrangement or to take some extended time away from work, schedule a time to talk with your HR representative. Explain the situation and the solution you would like to look into. You might also like to see if there’s the option to work at home, either part or full time, even if just on a temporary basis. The earlier you have this talk, the better. You don’t want to wait until you’re in crisis mode to attempt to reach a resolution.
- Bring in respite care. Whether you opt to modify your work schedule to better accommodate your caregiving tasks, or you choose to continue to devote yourself fully to your job, respite care from a reliable home care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any gaps in care, from just a couple of hours each week up to full-time, around-the-clock care. This allows you the freedom to choose to:
- Work at home with caregiving help at your side, enabling you to focus on your career while still being present with your loved one
- 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 seamless care
At Live Free Home Health Care, serving New Hampton, Tilton, Epsom, and nearby areas, we work with family caregivers in whatever way works best for them and the senior they love. Let us help you enjoy a better balance between caregiving and your career with award-winning respite care services. Contact us at 603-217-0149 for more information!