Being a caregiver is an incredibly important and demanding job. But what happens when you still have a career in addition to the caregiving responsibilities? Is there a way to have a positive balance between the two?
The task of maintaining a career and being a caregiver can be overwhelming at times – that’s unavoidable. It can also be an emotional experience, especially when the person you are caring for is not getting any better. Like anything else, it takes time to develop a plan of action and to see that plan through. There can be growing pains for all parties involved, but once you find that balance you begin to settle down and see that you can excel at both your career and caregiving. We are here to help you find that light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are a few quick tips to having a healthy balance between your career and your caregiving:
- Start with a list and plan your calendar. What exactly will you be doing for the person you are caring for? After you’ve made your list, identify which days you’ll be doing some of these crucial tasks. For example, you can do the grocery shopping on a specific day while your sister-in-law stays at home with your father.
- Make your working hours known to everyone. Write your hours on the refrigerator or in an area of frequent visitation. Set limitations during these times. Of course, you’ll need to be available in case of an emergency, but set precedence for the people in your life. If you need to call in for additional help during the time that you’re away, do not hesitate to do so.
- Remember that open communication is key. Tell your boss about your situation. Tell your friends and your family. It’s important that people know what’s going on so they don’t think you’re simply unavailable or being lazy when you have to leave promptly at 5 p.m. after work.
- Are there resources in your community? Consider an adult day center or a retirement community. Socialization can do amazing things for people and can actually add years to their life. Perhaps this is best for you and for the person you are caring for.
- Don’t forget to take time for yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself and your health, then how can you truly take care of someone else? Remember that list and calendar we talked about? Schedule YOU time. Consider multitasking during this time. For example, while on the treadmill you can go over your list of things to do for the week.
- Set limitations and ask for help. Is there a family member (or three) or a friend that can help when times do get stressful? Have a backup plan. Don’t forget to reach out to others. You’re not alone!
Remembering that you are not alone and taking time for yourself are probably two of the most important tips listed above. Being a caregiver can be incredibly demanding. Having a full-time career is equally challenging. Set a plan and see it through. It’s important to stay organized during this busy time in your life. But you can do this! We know you can!
If you would like to learn more about the services offered at Dial Retirement Communities, feel free to leave a comment below or call 402-964-0099.
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