6 Tips For Balancing Work and Caring For an Older Adult
It’s not easy to provide for our elderly parents. Acting as a caregiver can lead to additional stress and can place a burden on your relationships and career. According to AARP, about 25.5 million Americans are trying to find a work-life balance while caring for their elderly parents.
COVID-19 transformed our lives and our world in 2020. It’s impacted how we go to school, work, and extracurricular activities. COVID has also had an effect on family structures with a rising number of families managing multi-generational households. In addition, it has left our aging parents more dependent on us, as tougher home-stay orders are placed on the most vulnerable. While it’s not easy to find the balance, today we’re going to share some tips on how to find a routine that works for you.
Keep a Schedule
Stick to the schedule or routine. Try to separate your job from your responsibilities as a caregiver. Take care-related calls and arrange medical visits during your personal time rather than during business hours. Wait until you get home from work to do more time-consuming tasks that involve your loved one. Remember to have all the required, non-health-related activities in your schedule. For example, designate Saturday morning as your day for grocery shopping instead of going anytime you have the time. Take advantage of the numerous scheduling applications that let you share your appointments with other people’s schedules so that they can help you out when you need them.
Speak to Your Employer
Although we all want to demonstrate our commitment to our jobs, sometimes the pressures of our work will affect our ability to check in with our elderly parents. If you’re in this position, speak to your employer and try to come up with a manageable solution. Will you change your working hours? Would you want to work from home? Before beginning the conversation, have your responsibilities and contributions outlined out in order to guide the discussion towards actual solutions.
It is also worth talking to the HR manager to clarify what assistance options are open to you, either through your employer benefits or through your insurance plan. You may have personal days for family emergencies or other resources under the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Note that there are also government-sanctioned services such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) intended to help workers resolve family problems without risk of losing their jobs.
Follow Saftey Measures
Make everyone in your household follow the prescribed CDC protocols for personal hygiene and other guidance, particularly if the person in your care lives with you. If your elderly parent is sick with the flu or COVID-19, it may be serious. You can’t go to work or be a successful caregiver if you get sick.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Arrange for a co-worker to step in if you need to leave work unexpectedly to take care of your aging parent or loved one. Plan ahead at home, too. As a family caregiver, it’s important to have an alternative treatment plan and prepare others for what they need to do whether you are exposed or become sick with COVID-19.
Make Time For Yourself
There are many ways to preserve the work-life balance, but maybe the most important thing is to try to take care of yourself as well. Don’t ignore your own health; as much as you want to be there for your loved one, symptoms of fatigue, colds, or other possible diseases will limit your ability to take better care of your loved one. Exercise is a normal relief of stress. Basic tips for leading a healthier life, including adequate sleep and a healthy diet, should not be forgotten. To minimize the chance of burnout, take daily breaks at work and at home, whether you’re getting lunch outdoors or going for an evening stroll.
Find a Homecare Provider
Caring for an aging parent is not easy, and it can put a strain on your personal life and career. Preparing and organizing, understanding what resources you have at your disposal, and finding balance is all-important.
If you don’t have family support to help, the experts at Thrive USA Homecare can help. Contact us today to learn more about our respite care services.