Are you the primary caregiver of your loved one at home? Do you often need help to balance your work and caregiving responsibilities?
Balancing a career with caregiving responsibilities is a challenging task.
About 53 million Americans currently serve as a caregiver for a loved one, with the majority of them trying to earn a living simultaneously, as per the “Caregiving in the U.S. 2020” report from AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving.
Additionally, things have become even more challenging with the pandemic, with 60% of women caregivers reporting that they are providing more care than before.
Unsurprisingly, 75% of working caregivers are experiencing a moderate or significant increase in stress levels (info courtesy: AARP).
If you’re feeling emotionally drained and physically exhausted and finding it difficult to focus on work, it’s time to take action. Here are some steps you can take to find balance as a caregiver while fulfilling your responsibilities:
- Get help
Ask family, friends, or professional caregivers for help. Can any of them assist with your loved one for a few hours a week? Consider hiring a senior care provider or look into local community services like adult day centers.
- Use technology
Incorporate technology into your routine by utilizing online calendars, task management apps, and virtual meetings to help streamline your responsibilities and manage your time more effectively.
- Set boundaries
Set clear boundaries between your caregiving and work responsibilities, and communicate these boundaries to others to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts. For example, you may need to inform your coworkers that you cannot attend early morning meetings due to your caregiving duties or tell your family members that you cannot provide care during certain hours because of work commitments.
- Delegate work where possible
Place online orders for groceries, opt for home delivery for groceries and medication refills, use local laundry services with drop-off and pick-ups if you don’t have time, opt for inexpensive nutritious meal delivery services if you cannot meal prep, etc.
- Check-in on yourself every day
This ensures you are not overwhelmed, anxious, or sad with the responsibilities. If you feel any such emotions, pull a hard stop and immediately recruit a friend or family member, or an external help to support you while you take some time off to regroup.
- Do weekend prep
Set aside a few hours every weekend to assess the coming week’s requirements, appointments, and schedules and prepare for them in advance. It could be readying medical documents before a doctor visit, meal prepping for the week, booking extra caregiver support for days and times when you may be unavailable, setting clothes aside, grocery shopping, etc.
- Reach out to local community volunteers
Enlist the support of volunteer caregivers through local community services. These services offer a wide range of support, from meal delivery to transportation to medical appointments and companionship. By researching and identifying the most appropriate services for your needs, you can reach out to them whenever required.
Juggling caregiving and work responsibilities can be challenging and stressful. By implementing the tips above, you can effectively balance your caregiving duties and work commitments while prioritizing your health and well-being. It’s essential to remember that you don’t have to do it all alone, and seeking support from others is a sign of strength, not weakness. You can find balance and succeed in your caregiving and work roles with the right strategies and mindset.
If you’re searching for in-home care for a loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us at 248-657-7674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re located in Michigan and provide comprehensive senior care services, including respite care, memory care, Assisted Daily Living Activities, and post-surgical recovery care.