Balancing Work and being a caregiver
According to the the AARP, there is in an estimated 25.5 million Americans that are balancing work and caring for a loved one, which makes these Americans emotionally drained and physically exhausted. Luckily, most employers are sympathetic to these caregiving demands. Some of them even offer respite care, community services, counseling, and much more. However, there is still the struggle to do both.
An employed caregiver often spends more time caring for their loved one then they do at their job. They often end up calling in to work, coming late, taking vacation or sick days or even reducing their hours to part-time, which this can could result in loosing benefits such as health insurance or pensions, not to mention a decrease in pay. Most unpaid caregivers have to face the decision to either continue to work full-time or become a full-time caregiver, their finances are usually taken into consideration. Since most people work because they need the money, it is not common for an unpaid caregiver to just up and quite their job to be a full-time caregiver, so they must try to balance being a caregiver and working at their jobs. Below are some ways to do this.
-First and foremost working caregivers must set their priorities, from least important to most important and of course they must put the most important first even if it means disappointing others. Unfortunately, there typically are going to some low priorities that are going to have to be put on the back burner. Balancing work, families, caregiving duties is going to cause priorities to change frequently, therefore day-to-day or week-to-week the caregiver should sit down and prioritize.
-Creating a schedule is important for caregivers to keep a balance. They should schedule time for work, caregiving duties and for their own families.
-Scheduling time at work for the person receiving care or their doctor to call the caregiver is a good way to keep a balance. This could be done during their breaks.
-Caregivers should try to make the most of their time. Schedule appointments and run errands together is a way to help.
-If affordable, unpaid caregivers could hire some help to help them out with their day-to-day tasks, such as hiring a housekeeper and bookkeeper.
-Working caregivers should try and arrange with their employer a flexible schedule to work with their demands.
-Caregivers should always reach out and talk to others, find a support group in your area or online. Learn more.
-Caregivers should always make time for themselves even if this doesn't seem possible. Learn more.
-Caregivers should learn about their companies policies and know their rights.
AARP has some great information on Balancing Work and Caregiving.
Supporting Families Through Life ChangesProviding support to the loved one needing care can be a challenging task, especially if you are the one that is caring for them as you need support as well. There are some suggestions to help.
Classes, Support Groups for caregiversOne of the most common mistakes that new caregivers make is not taking full advantage of the resources that are out there to provide support for them. One of the best ways for a caregiver to maintain their well-being is to connect with others.