Caring for an elderly parent is a full-time job in itself, so being a caregiver and working full-time seems almost impossible. This is a scary thought considering by 2025, it is expected that over half of the American workforce will be caring for an elderly loved one in addition to working.
Although it can be challenging, Working full-time and caring for an elderly parent is not impossible. Achieving balance is essential for success. Here are six tips for taking care of an elderly parent while working a full-time job.
1. Discuss Details with your Parent
Have an open and honest conversation with your elderly parent about their wants and needs and what you are capable of providing. Make sure you know their wishes as they age and require more care. Set up a routine for care - write it down on a schedule. Add doctors and other appointments and plan them as far in advance as possible. Share the schedule with family members and anyone else who will be helping with care.
2. Talk to Your Employer
Maintaining open communication with your employer is essential to ensure that your roles as a caregiver and an employee can work together. Fortunately, many employers are understanding and supportive, willing to make accommodations such as allowing you to take calls during work hours or take time off for appointments. You may even have the opportunity to work remotely either part-time or full-time.
3. Prepare a Backup Plan
It's always smart to have a backup plan, or even a contingency plan, in case things don't go as planned. For instance, you could find a coworker who can fill in for you during an emergency. Likewise, think about reaching out to a family member, friend, or professional caregiving service who can help with caregiving responsibilities if you have a scheduling conflict or need a break.
4. Ask for Help and Accept It
At first, it might seem challenging to seek assistance, but with practice, it gets easier. You probably have family and friends, including those of your elderly loved one, who are willing to assist you. Assign tasks that you typically handle at home, such as grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, or walking the dog, to someone else, giving you a well-deserved break.
5. Practice Self-Care
You can’t take care of anyone if you don’t care for yourself first. Taking care of a parent can be exhausting, and your job can likely be tiring, too. No matter how much you love your parent and your job, you need to take time for yourself. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or even take a long time. But it is absolutely crucial to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being that you practice self-care.
6. Seek Support and Community
Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Many are walking a similar path, and there's strength in numbers. Joining caregiver support groups or communities can provide invaluable advice and emotional support. Sharing your challenges and hearing from others can provide perspective and even solutions you hadn't considered.
Consider In-Home Care Services
As much as you might want to do it all, sometimes it's essential to acknowledge that you need help. That's where in-home care services come in.
In-home care services provide professional assistance to aging individuals right in the comfort of their homes. Whether it's for a few hours a day or around the clock, these services offer the elderly personalized care tailored to their needs. Caregivers will cater to the unique needs of your loved one, ensuring that they remain comfortable and safe.
If you're struggling to juggle your work and caregiving responsibilities, consider seeking the help of in-home care services. The right support can make a significant difference, ensuring that your loved one gets the care they deserve while allowing you to remain productive at work.
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Juggling Work and Caretaking with Resilience
Balancing a full-time job and caregiving is not easy, but with the right approach, understanding, and resources, it's possible to ensure that both your career and your loved one receive the attention they deserve. Remember, it's okay to seek help. After all, the best care comes from a place of love and a well-balanced life.