Deciding whether living with elderly parents will be the right thing to do can be challenging. There are plenty of factors to consider: If you’re married, how will it affect your relationship with your spouse? How will it affect your home life? If you’re single, will it have consequences on your personal life? In addition to these questions, you also need to consider how it will affect your work and life balance as a caregiver.
As a caregiver, it can be hard to remember everything that you need to do and simultaneously keep your own emotions and sanity in check. Sometimes, we need little reminders to keep us on track. The Huffington Post discusses how to find balance within your work/life as a caregiver.
One problem caregivers may frequently face is “presenteeism,” which is when an employee shows up at work physically but is not able to focus as sharply on his/her responsibilities. Employees may be “present,” but their quality of work suffers. For caregivers, this lack of focus is often caused by worrying about a family member at home in need of assistance and being concerned about his/her well-being. With presenteeism becoming a larger issue for employers, some have begun offering support programs for their employees who are caring for their elderly parents.
If you are a caregiver and feel like you may be suffering from the effects of presenteeism, here are a few questions to ask yourself: Are you regularly making calls to schedule appointments or other obligations for your parents during work? Are you having to work overtime to compensate for the time that you have spent on the phone or on other caregiver responsibilities? Are you consistently late or absent because of your caregiver responsibilities?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you may want to talk to your employer about whether any options are available for employees who serve as caregivers. Find out about your rights as an employee and your company’s policy on time off or flexible scheduling for an employee living with elderly parents and serving as their caregiver. Be upfront and honest with your manager about the reality of your situation.
All in all, deciding to be a caregiver to your elderly parents can be challenging, especially when you have to balance the time between your work and the rest of you life. However, it can also be an immensely rewarding experience and deepen your relationship with your parents. If you use the resources that are available to you, you can cut down on the times you feel stressed or overburdened and focus on spending quality time with your elderly parent.