It’s a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, you have your work, which provides you fulfillment, purpose, and obviously, a paycheck. On the other hand, you’re taking care of someone you love. Trying to give 100% to both of these crucial roles can make you feel physically and mentally exhausted, with little if any time for self-care.
You’re not alone. As many as 6 out of 10 family care providers over age 50 are also working outside of the home. What are their secrets to obtaining a healthy life balance?
How to Maintain a Work-Life Balance for Caregivers
- Review your employee handbook. It might have been years since you’ve taken at look at the handbook you received when you were first employed. And at the time you were hired, your personal circumstances may have looked different from the way they look now. Go back and read the policies again related to family emergencies or medical needs, flexibility in working hours, and FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act). If the company you work for employs a minimum of 50 people, and you have worked there for at least one year (for at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months), you’re eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing your position.
- Speak with HR. Once you’ve decided to explore a modified working arrangement or to take some extended time away from work, schedule a time to speak with your HR representative. Explain the situation and the solution you’d like to look into. You might also want to see if there is the possibility to work at home, either part or full time, even if just for a temporary basis. The earlier you have this discussion, the better. You don’t want to wait until you are in crisis mode to try to come to a resolution.
- Bring in respite care. Whether you opt to modify your work schedule to better support your caregiving tasks, or you choose to continue to dedicate yourself fully to your work, respite care from a reliable senior care agency is a lifesaver. A professional caregiver can fill in any gaps in care, from just a couple of hours every week up to and including full-time, around-the-clock care. This enables you the freedom to select to:
- Work at home with caregiving assistance at your side, allowing you to focus on your work while still being present with your family member
- Work full-time while knowing a professional caregiver is at home assisting with personal care, preparing meals, offering transportation and companionship, providing light housekeeping, etc. to enable you to come home and just enjoy time with your family member
- Find any combination of the two that best works for you, with a fully trained and experienced caregiver filling in the gaps accordingly for consistent care
At Inspired Home Care, serving the Gold Coast of Chicago, Arlington Heights and the surrounding areas, we partner with family caregivers in any manner that works best for them and the older adult they love. Let us help you enjoy a better balance between caregiving and your career with award-winning respite care services. Contact us at 847-787-7572 for more information!