Finding a balance between work and home life can be challenging for anyone, let alone those with hectic personal lives. Those who act as primary caregivers for elderly folk may find it especially difficult to come home from a long day and spend their remaining hours tending to their loved ones. Without proper time management, caregivers with full-time jobs may find themselves burnt out and resentful, leading to declining care.
Luckily, there are many avenues you can take to prioritize your elderly loved one without abandoning your personal needs in and out of work. Between enlisting the help of senior care professionals and utilizing flexible job options, you’ll walk the work-life tightrope with grace.
Call in help when needed
Although asking for help can be difficult, sometimes an extra hand can make all the difference in increasing your loved one’s quality of care. When you’re overworked and exhausted, you’re more likely to make mistakes and feel irritated at the thought of caring for another. Instead of prolonging sub-par care and ignoring signs of caregiver burnout, consider partnering with trusted in-home care professionals like these who can offer relief in particularly hectic periods.
Professional caregivers have specialized skills that allow them to tend to your senior loved one with ease, prioritizing their comfort and unique needs. You can work with them directly to fine-tune your senior’s routine when you require a break. You will sleep easy knowing your loved one is in capable, professional hands.
Be open with your employer
It may be tempting to mask your at-home affairs instead of sharing your living situation with your employer. However, speaking with your higher-ups about your caregiving responsibilities and the toll it takes on you day-to-day could ease your stress. Although it can feel scary to open up to your employer, you may be surprised at the flexibility they can offer. Even if your hours are firm, your company may allow you to work from home part-time or be more understanding during emergencies.
Take advantage of counseling services
Those continually struggling to balance elder care with work responsibilities, taking advantage of counseling services—often covered by your employer—could help ease stress and anxiety. Caregiving takes a toll emotionally, especially on top of workplace stressors, and opening up about the mental exhaustion you may be feeling can open up avenues to healthier coping mechanisms. Although your elderly loved one’s well-being is vital, it’s critical to have a firm grasp on your mental and physical health as well.
Practice diligent self-care
In the same vein as counseling services, caregivers should actively participate in a regular self-care routine to keep themselves emotionally and physically prepared for anything thrown their way. Tending to elderly folk, especially those with cognitive impairments and mobility restrictions, is taxing. In light of these emotionally-wearing to-dos, finding time to recoup and attend to yourself after a long day of work and caregiving is essential to recharging your battery each day.
Consider implementing meditative practices, a consistent exercise routine, and healthy, balanced meals to ensure you’ll be ready for caregiving and workplace responsibilities.
Although it may seem impossible to balance a professional career and caregiving duties, there are numerous ways to ensure your senior loved one receives expert care while still excelling at work. Between specialized in-home services, open communication with your employer, and consistent self-care, you’ll be able to prioritize your loved one and strengthen your relationship without sacrificing your professional future.