Family caregivers often have to find a balance with taking care of a loved one with a disability or limited mobility and the needs of themselves, their spouse, children, and career simultaneously. While caregiving is rewarding and can make a difference in lives, it is a huge time commitment and can become emotionally demanding.
A report from the AARP in 2012 found that “Among working caregivers caring for a family member or friend, 69% report having to rearrange their work schedule, decreasing their hours or take an unpaid leave in order to meet their caregiving responsibilities.”
Most must factor in financial burdens, including loss of wages, health insurance and other job benefits while maintaining a career and caregiving. There is also a possibility for lower productivity and the need for extra time off. Unfortunately, this could influence your ability to climb the career ladder. Of course, we do not want to let the needs of our loved ones go unmet so here are some tips to help you find work/life balance.
5 Tips to Finding a Work/Life Balance
- Seek out community resources that can provide a variety of support to help families and informal caregivers for older adults aging in place. Some services offer guides, training, videos, etc.
- Check out your company’s policies for sick and other leave time. Be aware of the employee assistance programs available to you and make use of them. Many times, you can find a therapist through EAP, a therapist can guide keep you from feeling stressed.
- Communicate with your upper management staff. Make them aware of the struggles you face with your caregiving responsibilities. Open communications with your employer could lead to creative problem solving and empathy on their part.
- Stay organized. You can relieve some stress off yourself by organizing your time, activities, and paperwork. Find a system that works for you. It could be a paper filing system, calendar with alerts or computerized spreadsheet and stay on a good schedule.
- Contact Next Day Access. Most of the products we carry are to help you and your loved one feel safer and more comfortable. For guaranteed peace of mind, contact us and we can go over different options we have. Our free in-home evaluations allow our accessibility experts to make suggestions on products that can make life easier for your caregiving tasks.
Caregiving can become exhausting and lonely. Reaching out for resources and asking for help can help you find a balance with work, life, and caregiving. We would love to hear what strategies you use to balance work and caregiving responsibilities. Feel free to comment on this blog.