How to Balance Caregiving & Work
When you take care of a loved one with a chronic illness or limited mobility, balancing those responsibilities can be very demanding. You might feel like there’s too much to do but not enough time to do it all. Many people are in similar situations. Fortunately, you can take four steps to make this balancing act easier.
1. Talk to Your Supervisor
When you take on caring for a loved one, it’s likely to affect your work performance on some level. For that reason, it’s important to talk to your employer about your needs. You shouldn’t wait until an emergency occurs because your company could have policies that will help you.
For example, you could receive family leave or flexible work options. Some businesses offer employee assistance programs. At the very least, your supervisor may be willing to work out a compromise that meets everyone’s needs. Just make sure that you stay open-minded during the conversation.
2. Stay Organized and Plan Ahead
Since caregiving and working gives you a long to-do list, it’s crucial to stay organized. Instead of trying to keep up with everything in your head, create a family calendar. Then, your loved one and others who share the caregiving responsibilities will know what’s happening. You can all use the calendar to track doctor’s appointments and activities.
Also, it’s helpful to plan your caregiving and work schedules ahead of time. When possible, plan your caregiving tasks during your personal time. For instance, you could schedule doctor’s appointments around your work hours, such as during lunch breaks.
3. Set Boundaries
If you’re caring for a family member, you wouldn’t think that setting boundaries is necessary. However, doing so will make it easier to manage expectations, balance your tasks and still take care of yourself. You can do this by defining your physical boundaries, such as how long you need to recharge. Defining your emotional boundaries will address your understanding of your wants and needs from others.
4. Ask for Help
While the above steps make it easier to balance your caregiving and job responsibilities, there may still be times when you can’t do it all. To avoid getting burned out, you need to ask for help so that you can take some time for yourself.
When you don’t have family members or friends who can help, adult daycare and in-home care services are available. At Caring Home Care, we offer companion services that give you a break. Our companions can assist with reading, writing, shopping, going to appointments and doing recreational activities.