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How Family Caregivers Can Manage Work-Life Balance

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Did you know the majority of family caregivers actually have two full-time jobs? At some point, most family caregivers work a professional job, while providing unpaid support to an aging or ailing loved one.

If this sounds like your situation, it probably feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, as you try to find balance between your family, job, personal life and aging loved one. And as you weigh your priorities and strategize a caring routine, it’s normal to feel like you must choose between your family or career. However, it is possible for family caregivers to maintain a proper work-life balance.

Continue reading below as we explore 3 ways family caregivers can successfully maintain a job and their caregiving journey.

1. Talk to your employer about flexibility.

According to Caregiver.org, the most requested work adjustment among family caregivers is work hour flexibility to accommodate caring schedules. This isn’t surprising, knowing the majority of family caregivers work normal business hours, then head straight into caring, leaving little to no time for personal activities.

Making adjustments to your 9-5 job allows you to take a less restricted role in your caring journey, while helping your loved one during normal work hours. This is especially helpful for time-sensitive activities like doctor’s appointments or picking up prescriptions. One study also found that flexible work schedules help family caregivers reduce workplace tardiness and employee turnover, while increasing job satisfaction.

Consider talking to your employer about adjusted work hours, condensed schedules (ex: working four, 12-hour days) or telecommunicating options. Or, if finances allow for it, some family caregivers benefit from working part-time or reduced hours.

2. Look into adult daycare options.

If your loved one needs round-the-clock care during the day or experiences senior isolation, consider adult daycare services. Adult daycare is designed to relieve family caregivers from duties, while providing seniors with a safe and social environment. Some even provide specialized medical care and dedicated Alzheimer’s support.

Adult daycare is mutually beneficial in the following ways:

  • Encourages your loved one to engage in activities (social, physical or mental) while you’re at work.
  • Provides you a break to go to work, run errands, gain personal time or care for your own family.
  • Gives both you and your loved one a more structured routine.

There are a variety of adult daycare services, both independent and through medical institutions, in Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio community.

>>> Considering senior living options for your loved one? Explore six different options with differing levels of care.

3. Be open to support.

One of the most important milestones in your caregiver journey is admitting you need or asking for help. It’s normal to feel like you have to manage all of these responsibilities alone. However, a helping hand alleviates stress, and frees you up to focus on other important areas of your life.

For instance, ask family members to create a schedule, either by time of day or day of the week, to split responsibilities. Or, assign certain family members specific tasks like preparing meals once a week, picking up prescription or simply stopping by your loved one’s home to spend time together.

Again, if finances allow, look into professional help, like at-home professional caregivers, or cleaning or meal prep services.

There are also several caregiver support groups, which allow members to share tips and advice they’ve learned on their own personal journeys.

Get Access to More Family Caregiver Resources

Looking for more advice as you progress on your unique caregiving journey? Download our complimentary resource, Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Family Caregivers, to uncover additional strategies you need to provide the highest quality of care to your loved one.

Download our family caregiver guide

Cathy Nichols
Cathy Nichols
Considers it an honor as a Certified Celebrant to listen to life stories, and then design and conduct meaningful tributes. Cathy also trains celebrants nationally, equipping them to share those legacies in ways that comfort and enlighten. Honorably serving Busch families since 2004.
 

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