How To Balance Elder Care and Your Career

An elderly parent at home, like a baby, may need care and cannot be ignored. It is equally difficult to ignore a career, which is lucrative and full of potential possibilities. The number of employed who take care of their elders is high and on the increase in America. It is mostly women rather than men who are key caregivers for their older relatives. For some it may be necessary to work while taking care of their elders, while for some giving up on their career may be an acceptable option. However, it is possible to ensure good care for your elders without giving up on your career with some help, adjustments and better planning.

Here are some ways you can support anybody who is balancing being a caregiver and a career person.

Short Term Care

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows three months of leave with pay for caring for an elder and/or ailing relative.

Medium to Long Term Care

Care for the Elder

  • Check with another sibling if you can share caring for the elder, either for part of the day or otherwise.
  • Engage adult day-care services so that while you are at work, the elder is looked after.
  • Employ a caregiver who will step in to help when you are at work or managing other responsibilities at home.
  • The 40-70 campaign revolves around reconstructing conversations between seniors and children. They include a guide of conversation starters regarding vulnerable areas.
  • There are online resources, which provide information on eldercare, eldercare services and products like
  • Community resources in the locality where you live will also be helpful.

Manage the Job

  • Discuss with your employer so that even the employer empathizes, and you can work out some mutually suitable arrangement. Communicate that you are committed to the job.
  • Request flex-time so that your job responsibility can be managed as and when you are free from giving care.
  • Check if you can telecommute and work from home.
  • Get to know about the care-giving policy of the organization.
  • Where specific benefits can ease your stress tremendously without affecting productivity, you could also speak to the HR department and request for the same.

Family and Yourself

  • Discuss and involve your family in sharing responsibility around the house, and bring up all physical, emotional or social issues and resolve them so that family peace is not disrupted.
  • Plan on new needs and different ways to meet them. Keep activities for the day stuck in a visible place so that whoever is free can always lend a hand in closure.
  • Where there are children at home who require personal care, look for alternative support - either babysitters, daycare or more support from spouse or elder siblings
  • Ensure that you still keep time aside for spouse and children.
  • Take time out for yourself - relaxation and enjoyment. You should not feel burnt out or harbor negative feelings that you're being used.

The crucial point to remember is that while balancing your work and caregiving at home, you must retain your own time and ensure that you manage to keep your head above your worries - it will help you manage all your responsibilities better.


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