One great challenge that family caregivers face is balancing work and care giving. This, of course, is besides all the other areas of their lives that need them too – their social lives and other responsibilities. This is a big challenge because care giving and work are both demanding and time consuming.
The demands of these responsibilities usually leave family caregivers wondering if there are any way these activities can be balanced without one or the other being affected.
If a loved one just got sick and needs care or has been for a while, you’re probably at this point where you are wondering how to balance both work and care giving. To admit it, trying to figure it out, like juggling both is difficult and can leave you with feelings of despair and malaise but balancing both can be done a here is how.
A great place to begin when trying to balance major responsibilities like work and care-giving is to get organized. Why? Both responsibilities are going to make major demands on your time and to be effective you must be focused on each while at it.
Sometimes with work alone, it feels like you don’t have any time in general. You must find a way to organize all your work, responsibilities, roles, commitments etc. so you can effectively attend to them. The worst-case scenario maybe for you to give up other roles or responsibilities but most often, you don’t.
Organizing also means making a care giving schedule that involves other members of the family taking turns to care for the loved one. Make the schedule every week or month and let each person know when they’ll be “on duty”.
Of course, this should include doctor’s appointments and any other commitment as well as your time off for rest. Yes rest! You cannot care effectively if you are burned out.
There is the possibility that involving your family members may still not be enough to cover the time needed to properly care for your loved one. Every one of you has a life and many other responsibilities that have to be attended to right? At this point it may be wise to involve a friend or two that the family member is comfortable with.
It should be noted here that the person being cared for must be comfortable with the friend in question or he/she will resist the care and that will be frustrating to both parties.
A better option at this point is to contact a Home Care company to arrange for someone to come in and care for your loved one either on part-time or full-time basis. One great thing with these companies is that they usually have many caregivers in their team with varying interests and personalities and can easily match your loved one with someone who he/she will be comfortable with but it is important for you to be specific on the condition of things when you approach such companies.
Get Your Employer On Board
Contrary to what some people may think, there are employers who offer some sort of work flexibility to employers who are also care giving. This could even be a way to work from home. This is especially true if you have been an employee that is known to manage her workload and time effectively, adheres to deadlines and completes tasks.
Of course, your employer will want to be sure your care giving activity will not affect your ability to produce results so you must assure him you can produce results with the flexible schedule.
Alternatively, if the illness is not something that is permanent or terminal, you can ask for a leave of absence if you are entitled to one for responsibilities like care giving. If you are entitled to one and must leave, be sure to explain the situation to your team members and direct manager. Why? Your co-workers are