Work-Life Balance: Finding the Balance When Working and Caring for a Parent .
65.7 Million.That is the number of Americans caring for aging, ill, or disabled loved one. As we are living longer, more and more people in the workforce are juggling this new need. If you are one of the millions working and helping care for a parent, here are our top 10 tips to help you find the balance and navigate your needs and work.
Top 10 Ways to Find the Balance
- Ask your HR department about employee assistance programs available to you. They may include eldercare coaching, counseling and other resources.
- Familiarize yourself with your FMLA rights. A brief medical leave may be an option for dealing with a family medical crisis.
- Ask about your PTO, sick time, flex time, and bereavement to see how it can be used when caring for a loved one.
- Communicate with you manager about your new eldercare responsibilities. Be honest about your needs. If you are up front about your circumstances, they are better able to work with you.
- Seek professional help and delegate. You can’t do everything alone. Don’t neglect your own needs even for a short period of time. There are many care options and resources available to you.
- Follow a regular self-care plan. It is only by taking good care of yourself that you are able to take good care of others. Consider creating a list of activities that care for you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Choose something every day that addresses each of these needs. Having the list ready will help you choose yourself even when you’re tired.
- Keep as regular of a sleep, healthy eating, and exercise pattern. This will help maintain your energy and create a sustainable model of care. When you are physically drained and burned out it can make emotional and stressful situations more difficult to manage.
- Schedule family activities in advance. Having something set for a later time will help your family and/or children understand when you need to give attention to an aging loved one. For example, you can say, “I need to help grandma right now, but I’m looking forward to going to the park on Friday and spending time together.”
- Find ways to express yourself. Whether that is through writing, a support group for caregivers, counseling, or just talking with friends, it is important to process the complex emotions that are associated with caring for a loved one or parent. In moments when you feel like your life is being eclipsed by the needs of your family, expressing your experience can help you claim your own voice and choice in the situation.
- Coming home from work can feel like clocking in for your second shift when caring for a parent. Create a space in your home that is all yours that can still have those elements of safety, comfort, relaxation, and rejuvenation. It could be a corner of the yard, a bathtub, a desk, whatever signals to your mind and body that you can have a reprieve from work and aren’t always on the clock. Ask for help from family members to allow for uninterrupted time in the places you define as “home”.
Sound Options is passionate about providing education, tools, and care options to families facing the challenges of caring for a parent or loved one. We know you are busy, so we’ve provided 5 ways you can plug into our rich resources.
No. 1 The SoundLife Blog- here you’ll find articles, online resources, videos, and tips for you as an adult child. Go to SoundOptions.com/blog to see how the experts address challenges such as having difficult discussions, home safety, increasing quality of life, driving, family dynamics, caregiver wellness and more.
No 2 eNews Help is as close as your inbox. Each month we tackle important issues in eldercare and provide educational articles and videos in a newsletter to help you navigate your own unique situation.
No 3 Website- Should you need help from the professionals, you will find service information about our Geriatric Care Management, Eldercare Coaching, Home Care, and Elite Live-In Services. You can also catch up on our most recent blog posts and learn more about Sound Options.
No. 4 The YouTube Channel- We know you’re moving a million miles an hour, and may not have time to read an article, so we are breaking down important topics, issues, and services into short informative videos.
No. 5 Facebook- We’re changing the paradigm of Facebook from time waster to time saver. “ Like” us to see our articles, videos, inspiration, encouragement, and wisdom pop up in your newsfeed.
Whether it’s an educational article to get your through the day or an caregiver to get you through the night, we’re here to be a resource for you. Give us a call at 800.628.7649. We’re here when you need us.
Published on March 17, 2013.