About 6 out of 10 people who are caregivers aged 55 and younger also work a full or part-time job. That’s not easy, but you may not have a choice but to do both. After all, like everyone else, you’ve got bills to pay and needs to be met. Finding a balance between working and caregiver tasks can be challenging, but it can be done.
Below are 4 tips to help you find that balance…
#1: Familiarize Yourself with the Employee Handbook
Many companies have policies in place for caregivers. They may offer flexible work hours or leave options. They might also have assistance programs. If you don’t find the information you’re looking for, schedule a meeting with someone in human resources to talk about the situation and what you need.
#2: Talk to Your Boss About What is Going On
Speak with your supervisor about your role as a caregiver. If you think it’s going to impact your ability to do your job, such as needing time off or having to leave for emergencies, tell them about it. Reassure your boss that you are committed to your job and will do your best to minimize how being a caregiver affects your work. However, it’s important that your boss knows what is going on. Perhaps your boss has been a caregiver at some, too, and will understand what you’re going through.
#3: Try Telecommuting
Many employers offer the ability for people to work from home. It’s possible you may even be able to work from your aging relative’s home. You may be able to telecommute full-time or just a few days per week, but even that can be helpful. Talk to your boss about whether telecommuting is an option for you. Many caregivers find it one of the most helpful work situations since it allows them to save the time required for driving into work and lets them be with their older family member while also working.
#4: Focus on the Job at Hand
When you’re at work, leave your caregiver duties behind. Try to keep your mind on your job and avoid doing things like researching the older adult’s condition or making appointments for them. If you have to make an appointment, try to do it on a break. Likewise, when you’re at home or with your elderly family member, leave work at work. Keeping the two separate lets you focus more completely on the task at hand and may help to reduce stress.