It’s a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you have your career, which provides you fulfillment, purpose, and obviously, a paycheck. On the other hand, you’re taking care of someone you love. Trying to give 100% to these two vitally important roles can leave you physically and mentally emptied, with little if any time to take care of yourself.
You are not the only one. 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 obtaining a healthy life balance, and how can home care help family caregivers?
How to Manage Caregiving With Work
- Take a Look at your employee handbook. It might have been years since you’ve taken at look at the handbook you received when you were first employed. And back then, your personal circumstances may have looked different from how they look now. Go back and re-read the policies related to FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act), flexibility in working hours, and family emergencies or medical needs. If the company you are working for employs at least 50 people, and you have worked there for at least one year (for not less than 1,250 hours during those 12 months), you are entitled to use up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing your position.
- Speak to HR. If you’ve chosen to explore a modified work schedule or to take some extended time away from work, plan a time to talk with your HR representative. Explain the situation and the solution you would like to look into. You might also want to see if there’s the option to work remotely, either part or full time, even if just on a temporary basis. The earlier you have this discussion, 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 support your caregiving tasks, or you choose to continue to devote yourself fully to your job, respite care from a dependable in-home care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any holes in care, from just a few hours weekly up to and including full-time, around-the-clock care. This allows you the freedom to:
- Work at home with caregiving assistance at your side, allowing you to concentrate on your work while still being present with your aging loved one
- Work full-time while knowing a professional caregiver is at home preparing meals, assisting with personal care, offering transportation and companionship, etc. to enable you to come home and just enjoy time with your family member
- Find any combination of the two that best works for you, with a fully trained and experienced caregiver filling in the gaps accordingly for seamless care
Want more information about how home care helps family caregivers who are struggling to find balance? At Compassionate Nursing Services, we partner with family caregivers in whatever way works for them and the individual they love. Let us make it easier for you to enjoy a better balance between caring for your loved one and your career with award-winning respite care services. Contact us at 314-432-4312 to learn more! We serve families in St. Louis, Chesterfield, St. Charles, and throughout the surrounding areas.