It is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you have your career, which provides you purpose, fulfillment, and of course, a paycheck. On the other hand, you are taking care of someone you love. Trying to give 100% to both of these crucial roles can make you mentally and physically drained, with little if any time to care for you.
You are not alone. As many as 6 out of 10 family care providers over age 50 are also working outside the home. What are the secrets to finding a healthy work-life balance as a family caregiver?
How to Find a Work-Life Balance as a Family Caregiver
- Review your employee handbook. It might have been years since you cracked open the handbook you received upon employment. And back when you were first hired, your personal circumstances may have looked different from how they look now. Go back and re-read the policies with respect to FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act), flexibility in working hours, and family emergencies or medical needs. 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 are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without concern about losing your role.
- Bring in respite care. Whether you opt to modify your work schedule to better accommodate your caregiving tasks, or you decide to continue to dedicate yourself fully to your job, respite care from a reliable home health care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any holes in care, from just a couple of hours each week up to and including full-time, around-the-clock care. This allows you the freedom to choose to:
- Work at home with caregiving support at your side, allowing you to concentrate on your projects while still being present with your senior loved one
- Work full-time while knowing an expert caregiver is at home preparing meals and providing light housekeeping, assisting with personal care, offering transportation and companionship, etc. so that you can come home and simply enjoy time with your loved one
- 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
- Speak to HR. Once 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 possibility to work at home, either part or fulltime, even if just on a temporary basis. The earlier you have this discussion, the better. You don’t want to wait until you are in crisis mode to attempt to come to a resolution.
At Anthem Home Care, a provider of home care services in Portland, Corpus Christi, and the surrounding areas, we partner with family caregivers in whatever way works best for them and the person they love. Let us help you enjoy a better balance between your career and caregiving with award-winning respite care services. Contact us today at 361-643-2323 to learn more!