Caring for your parents as they age is a privilege that creates a wealth of opportunities to bond and make lasting memories, but it is not without difficulty. From tending to medical needs to addressing cognitive declines, balancing your caregiver responsibilities with those of your day-to-day work can take an emotional and physical toll, especially if you work full-time.
Thankfully, however, there are various things you can do to make the role easier to navigate. Below are six great tips for caring for an elderly parent while maintaining a full-time job.
- Build a Support Network With Friends and Family
- Create a Detailed Daily Routine
- Speak to Your Employer About Flexibility
- Make Use of Financial Resources, Like Paid Family Caregiving
- Look Into Local Adult Daycare Programs
- Keep Consistent Contact With Your Parents
1. Build a Support Network With Friends and Family
If you need to care for an aging parent alongside your everyday job, one of the most prominent things you need to do is build a support network. Though it may be true that many of us prefer to feel independent and able to handle things on our own, such a reality just isn’t always possible.
The easiest way to gather additional help is by turning to your friends and (extended) family. Your siblings should be the first line of support when caring for an elderly parent, and if they live in the area, you can try establishing a rotating schedule in which you each take turns acting as caregivers while the others are at work. Those who are the only child of their family may find help from cousins, aunts, uncles, or close family friends.
In either case, when seeking help from friends and family, it is important to remember that these are all people who care for your parents, and many of them will be happy to help in whatever ways possible, and there is no shame or fault in seeking help from them when you need it.
2. Create a Detailed Daily Routine
Routines can make even the trickiest of tasks easier, and for adults taking care of their elderly parents, having a detailed routine can make day-to-day life much simpler to navigate. With that said, you should create a solid schedule that touches upon everything your parent requires throughout an average day.
The routine you create must factor into your work schedule and account for the hours you will be away from your parent, of course. During those times, someone else should be in place to act as a caregiver, which means sharing the schedule and routine with everyone involved will help keep everything on track.
3. Speak to Your Employer About Flexibility
Caring for an aging parent is something almost everyone has experienced or will experience at some point, and as such, many employers are understanding of the circumstances. If you have good rapport at work, they may be willing to accommodate your situation in certain ways, such as by allowing you to switch shifts or work from home. Other options may be available to you if you speak with your supervisor about your specific caretaking responsibilities.
4. Make Use of Financial Resources, Like Paid Family Caregiving
Finances add another major complicating factor to caretaking. Many adult children want to care for their parents full-time without having to worry about work at all, but they simply cannot afford to do so, which is where financial resources and paid family caregiving can make a world of difference.
Certain organizations will pay you to care for your senior relative, either part-time or full-time, according to a schedule that you design. You’ll be able to receive daily compensation for the care you provide to your parent, allowing you to leave your day job or transition to part-time employment.
There are also financial resources that can help pay for a professional caregiver who can stay at your home while you are at work and help your parents with their daily hygiene, feeding, and medical needs.
5. Look Into Local Adult Daycare Programs
If an in-home caregiver is not an option, adult daycare is a potential alternative. Many cities offer adult daycare programs where seniors can interact with their peers, play board games, watch movies, and be taken care of, and they are an excellent way to keep your parent(s) occupied and safe while you work during the day.
6. Keep Consistent Contact With Your Parents
One last important factor to keep in mind when caring for an elderly parent while juggling full-time work is keeping them safe. You cannot always be with them physically, but you can be present in other ways.
Keep in contact with them consistently throughout your work day, either through phone calls or text messages. If they have a daily caretaker, you can check in with them at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure their safety.
Are You Caring for an Elderly Parent While Working?
You may be eager to help your parents through their golden years, but having full-time work can complicate things. Paid family caregiving and adult daycare programs are great ways to make caretaking easier, as is creating a schedule and having a cooperative employer. For more information, contact local senior resources or organizations in your area.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.