It’s a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, you have your career, which provides you fulfillment, purpose, and of course, a source of income On the other hand, you’re caring for someone you love. Trying to give 100% to these two crucial roles can make you physically and mentally exhausted, with little if any time to take care of yourself.
You are in good company. As many as 6 out of 10 family care providers over age 50 are also working outside of the home. What are their secrets to finding balance when caring for a loved one while working?
How to Juggle Caregiving on Top of Work
- Take a Look at your employee handbook. It may be years since you cracked open the handbook you received when you were first employed. And at that time, your personal circumstances may have looked very different from the way 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). If the company you work for employs at least 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 use up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing your job.
- Speak with HR. If you’ve made a decision to explore a modified working arrangement or to take some extended time away from work, plan a time to talk to your HR representative. Explain the situation and 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 conversation, the better. You don’t want to wait until you’re in crisis mode to try to arrive at a resolution.
- Get respite care. Whether you decide to modify your work schedule to better balance your caregiving tasks, or you decide to continue to devote yourself fully to your career, respite care from a trusted in-home care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any gaps in care, from just a couple of hours weekly up to and including full-time, around-the-clock care. This allows you the freedom to:
- Work from home with caregiving assistance at your side, enabling 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 assisting with personal care, preparing meals, offering transportation and companionship, providing light housekeeping, etc. so that you can come home and just enjoy time with your family member
- Find any combination of the two that best meets your needs, with a fully trained and experienced caregiver filling in the gaps accordingly for seamless care
At Grace Home Care, we partner with family caregivers in any manner that works for them and the individual they love. Let us make it easier for you to enjoy a better balance between your career and caregiving with award-winning respite care services in Topeka. Contact us at 785-286-2273 for more information!