For many Americans in the “sandwich generation,” taking care of both their parents and their children is a fact of daily life. Finding that elusive work/life balance becomes even more difficult when caregiving is involved.
When you’re caring for a loved one, it can become easy to burn out—either in your work as a caregiver or in your career. That’s why it’s important to find a good balance between both sets of responsibilities.
How can you do that though? Let’s take a look.
Balancing Caregiving & Work Tip 1: Lean on Outside Resources
As much as you may want to provide all the care for your loved one, you won’t always be able to do so. But there are plenty of resources available to help!
Enrolling in Senior LIFE, a LIFE Program, is one way to get access to all of the healthcare and supportive services your loved one may need.
Senior LIFE provides you with access to medical care, nursing services, rehabilitation, social activities, medication management, and even a social worker. The social worker can point you in the direction of resources available to you throughout the community, help your loved one navigate common issues that occur with aging, and provide support for you and your entire family.
Balancing Caregiving & Work Tip 2: Review Your Employee Handbook
As a caregiver, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete all the items on your to-do list. And often, the demands of work can leave you without much free time—or at least time when you need it—to care for your loved one.
Take a look through your company’s employee handbook or schedule a meeting with HR to talk through company policies. In many cases these days, there are policies in place that allow for flexible hours or the ability to work from home, which can free up time during the day to take your loved one to appointments or do other necessary tasks.
Balancing Caregiving & Work Tip 3: Have a Plan in Place
If you’ve learned anything from your time as a caregiver, you’ve probably figured out that there is no “normal.” Just when things seem to be in a good routine, an illness or other issue crops up and causes chaos.
Plan for that ahead of time by taking two important steps. First, learn all you can about the Senior LIFE services and how to access them. Remember that we provide all types of resources, including door-through-door transportation for members.
And second, prepare a plan of action for your job. Talk with your HR rep and your manager about what steps to take if you unexpectedly need to leave or be out of work.
Balancing Caregiving & Work Tip 4: Get Organized
Yes, we know—this one is easier said than done. But if you take a bit of time to organize all of your responsibilities, including family life, extracurriculars, school, work, and caregiving, it’ll pay off in the long run.
Create a calendar that lists all to-dos and events, for both you and for your family. This should include appointments and other items for your loved one, too.
After you’ve mapped out these items, seek help where needed. Ask other family members or friends for assistance tackling some of the responsibilities to help you find the right balance.
There’s a lot on your plate. We can help. Senior LIFE is here to provide services designed to keep your loved one at home longer—and alleviate the stress on you as a caregiver. Click here to find the location nearest to you.
Categories: For the Caregiver