For almost a year now you’ve been taking care of your aging in place elderly father. But trying to balance caregiving with your own job and household is starting to wear you down. In fact, it’s now reached a point where your kids and boss are starting to complain that you’re not giving them the attention they deserve. If things don’t change, dad’s health and wellbeing, along with your own, could be placed in jeopardy. Finding time to balance caregiving with work and kids is hard. Fortunately, it can be done when you use these tips from the experts.
There’s Only One of You
According to WebMD, roughly 60% of all caregivers who are taking care of another adult aged 50-and-above also have a part or full-time job. In addition to managing your dad’s bills, doctor’s appointments, laundry and meals, you’ve got your 9 to 5 job and several kids to get ready for school and transport to activities. That’s a lot for anyone to handle, and what’s going to happen if your health suffers? Don’t be too hard on yourself, because no one person can do it all.
Prioritize Daily Tasks
Time management is key. Make a list of your personal, caregiving, family and work obligations for each day, and then let the less important ones go. Being a member of the Sandwich Generation is hard, and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Tasks that aren’t a priority can wait for when you have more time.
Meet with Your Employer
Does your employer even know that you’ve struggled at work lately because you’re taking care of an aging parent? Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to explain what’s going on, and they’ll probably be very understanding. In fact, don’t be surprised if they’re in the same situation! Other steps you can take to balance your job with kids and caregiving include:
- Read your employee handbook, as it might contain an Employee Assistance Program with policies governing caregiving, flexible work options and family leave.
- Consider job sharing, flex time or just cutting back to part time if financially possible.
- Try to separate your caregiving and work responsibilities as much as possible. For example, use lunch breaks to schedule doctor’s appointments for dad.
Speak to Your Kids
Relationships with your children are golden, so sit down with your kids and tell them how much they mean to you. But also explain how important it is to take care of grandpa, and what that entails. If your kids are old enough, ask them to help take care of your dad. Spending more time with his grandkids would probably lift dad’s spirit too!
Contact Your Siblings
Talk to your siblings about the fact you could use some help. Typically, the eldest daughter takes care of an aging parent and the other siblings just assume everything is fine. Hold a family meeting and split up some of the weekly caregiving tasks based on your siblings’ time availability and talents.
Take Care of Yourself
To prevent caregiver fatigue, make sure that you’re taking these steps to preserve your health and wellbeing:
- Get plenty of sleep (7 to 8 hours a day)
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs
- Spend quality time with your kids and spouse
- Reward yourself periodically with some new shoes, a nice dinner or weekend getaway
- Get a complete physical at least once a year
Seek Outside Assistance
If you’re an only child or your siblings live far away, consider using these community-based senior resources to give you a well-deserved break:
- Adult daycare
- Senior meal deliveries and transportation services
- Local Agency on Aging
- A professional respite caregiver
If you decide to hire a professional caregiver, find an agency that’s licensed and insured.
In-Home Respite Care for Seniors in Manatee County, FL
Caring for an aging in place elderly loved one is hard when you’re also balancing a job and kids. When you need a break, call First In Care. As a fully licensed and insured agency, our carefully screened aides can provide the nurturing care your senior deserves so they can continue aging comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our home care services include personal hygiene, light housekeeping, medication reminders, meals, transportation and companionship.
And, all our family trusted services can be individually tailored in an affordable package when and where you need us. To learn more about First In Care, or to schedule a FREE, in-home assessment for a senior in Manatee County, FL, please visit: www.firstincare.com now!