Tips to Balancing Work and Caregiving
By Cheri Platte, Managing Director, Circle of Care Home Care
Work and caregiving can be very rewarding in more ways than one, but balancing work and caregiving is extremely demanding and can lead to burnout, or even more severe health issues. If you feel like you’ve got more on your plate than you can handle than these tips can help you balance work and caregiving.
These balancing work and caregiving tips should help you to care for your loved one while staying on top of your career.
1. Get Organized
You likely have a lot on your to-do list, developing a strategy to manage everything is essential to your success. Create a calendar so everyone knows what’s happening, and use it to track activities and doctor’s appointments. Ask siblings to help out, and make a schedule that includes everyone in the family.
2. Inform Your Work
- Be sure your work is aware you are a primary caregiver, and reassure them that you’re 100% committed/devoted to your job.
- Make sure your boss knows you have a plan for getting your work done in the event of your absence.
- If your situation requires time away or changes in your schedule, or simply letting your HR know that a situation is unfolding, request a formal meeting so both parties are clear/focused, and on record.
- Don’t wait for an emergency – have a back up plan and inform your company of how your work will get done.
3. Work Resources
Your company may have policies on caregivers, flexible work options, family leave, access to employee assistance programs, which can be a helpful resource. Check with your HR department or refer to your employee handbook.
The Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, allows you to take up to 12 weeks off every year, without pay but with job security to handle caregiving. (Be sure you meet FMLA requirements.) Depending on why you’re taking leave, you may be able to take the 12 weeks in smaller chunks or work a reduced schedule.
Your employer may require that you use any accrued paid leave you have to cover some or all of any FMLA leave you take. Or you might choose to do this, since your employer isn’t required to pay you during FMLA leave.
If your employer is covered, they must maintain your group health insurance coverage while you’re on FMLA time off. But you may have to arrange to pay your share of health insurance premiums.
4. Local Resources
Visit your local agency on aging. They can often point you toward community resources that can help you now or may help you later. Find your area agency at n4a.org, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
5. Keep Work Separate
Try to take care of caregiving duties in your personal hours rather than during work hours. Schedule errands, shopping, bill paying Dr’s appointments and advanced health care services during your lunch hour, evenings or days off.
6. Manage Your Own Health
As challenging as your situation might be, you must take care of yourself while attending to your loved ones. If not managed, caregiving can be physically and emotionally draining for caregivers, and even lead to more serious health issues.
- Take time to pamper yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends or professional services.
- Establish a good sleep routine or even a routine where you can take mini naps. Rest is very important to your health and the easiest way to prevent stress.
- Joining a support group can prove to be helpful as people understand what you may be going through.
- Eat well for better health.
- Exercise to stay healthy. Staying physically fit also does wonders for your mental health.
5. Get Professional Help
Respite care is a type of service that steps in when needed to give the caregiver a well deserved break to look after their own health. Caregivers need time to rest, relax, go on vacations or handle other family affairs. Professional Respite services provide your loved ones with a safe, reliable caregiving while giving the the primary caregiver peace of mind while away.
Balancing work and caregiving is tough enough. Add to that managing personal and family affairs, and you can quickly see why burnout is the number one health issue for working caregivers. These tips will help you succeed in balancing your busy work and caregiving schedule.
When the need arrises, look to Circle of Care to provide professional respite care services for you and your loved one. And, because we know your schedule may have sudden changes, we provide flexible services, from drop-in, to scheduling care, or full-time live in care, we’re ready to step in and help as needed.
Contact us today and get a no-hassle consultation.
CIRCLE OF CARE, LLC
Cheri Platte is a home care expert and a professional consultant for family caregivers. She has been a compassionate advocate for the elderly for over 20 years now. As the Managing Director for Circle of Care, she focuses on providing excellent and high-quality home care solutions for families who care for their loved ones.
Her mission is to educate the public on the benefits of home care and home health, assist families in developing individual care plans, and help them plan for the advanced stages of aging, emphasizing on what matters most in terms of quality of life for the loved one. The company culture enables Circle of Care to hire and retain hundreds of professional care team members who are skilled and compassionate and produces a word-of-mouth referral network in the Southern California communities they serve. They are trusted by families, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospitals, nursing homes, senior communities, Long Term Care Specialists and other esteemed members of the healthcare industry. When not helping families in need, Cheri spends time mentoring other business owners and rising professionals plus volunteering at various organizations.