Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How To Balance Work While Caring For Parents

Balance Your Life While Caring For Parents!

Anyone who has a job and a family knows how
hard it can be. You have to manage both of these

Now suppose you are a caregiver. If you are caring
for aging parents. Then it can become nearly impossible
to manage everything without going into meltdown!

No longer are you trying to figure out how to deal with
normal work-related stress. Or getting your teenagers
through the hormonal years.

Now you have to make sure your parent is safe and
cared for before you even get to the office. You have to
worry about who is looking after them when you’re not

Or if you’re going to be able to leave the office in time to
relieve the help. Or worrying about them if they stay
alone. You hope for understanding employers. Or a job
where you can take family-related leave. (a godsend
for me)

Most people who are caring for aging parents cannot
afford to give up their jobs. And most of them don’t
want to. If you’ve built up a career, even if it’s not a
financial necessity, it can be difficult to walk away from.

Maybe it is the only thing that gets you out of the house
and keeps you sane and grounded.

Whatever your reason for wanting to balance your job
while you balance your responsibilities as a caregiver,
you should know that it can be done. You just have to
know where to turn for help and be willing to ask for
what you need.

You may be surprised to find out that your biggest ally
may be your employer. Employees have a tendency to try
and hide the fact that they are providing care for someone
from their bosses because they’re worried that they may
get skipped over for promotions and that it might make
them look uncommitted to their work.

In reality, however, most companies are aware that these
circumstances are very common and have programs in place
to try and accommodate their employees who are caring for
a parent.

Your company may have financial assistance programs to
help you hire home help to look after your parent while you
work or to help you pay for adult day care. Your company
may also be able to help you find counseling help or other
support that you need to cope with your new responsibilities.

Even if your company doesn’t have such a program,
you should know that in the US, you are entitled to
take up to 12 weeks leave of absence per year from
your job to care for a sick relative without worry
about losing your job or any of your benefits. The
catch is that the leave is unpaid, so this might not
be a financial possibility for many caregivers.

If you can’t afford to quit working, look into alternative
solutions that might help you juggle your new schedule.
See if your company offers job share programs or if they
can allow you to work from home at least a few days a

See if one of your siblings may be able to get some time
off from their jobs more easily than you to take off some
of the burden. Last but not least, if your company is
completely inflexible and unwilling to work with you,
then you may need to look for a new job.

Millions of Americans care for parents, and many
companies out there are willing and able to accommodate
employees who do so.

After all, with the population aging like never before,
elder care will be as common as child care!

Balance Your Life While Caring For Parents!