Of the 43 million Americans providing elder care for a loved one, about 60% also work outside the home to earn a living. That’s no easy task! No wonder caregiver stress is such an epidemic in this country—caregivers like you not only have to worry about the health and safety of your aging parent, spouse, or other family member, you also have to perform well at your job.
Despite the fact that you still find a way to do both, more than likely you still can’t keep your responsibilities as a caregiver from interfering with your career. Perhaps you have had to turn down a promotion that would have given you the professional challenge you’ve been looking for but that would have taken up too much of your time. Maybe you’ve missed out on opportunities for professional development over the years because of your caregiver commitments. And you wouldn’t be alone if you have had to leave a position you liked for something that was more flexible.
But before you decide to sacrifice your professional life so you can focus on elder care, consider these options.
Ask Your Employer How They Can Help
You might not realize it, but your employer probably wants to help make your life as a caregiver easier. Talk to your manager about your company’s policies. You might be surprised to find that they are willing to be flexible with your schedule based on your situation. You might even be able to telecommute a few days a week.
Your company might also offer caregiver support services like counseling. If you don’t ask, though, you’ll never know what resources you have at your disposal.
Take Advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act
If you work in the public sector or work for a company with at least 50 employees, you might be covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave without risking their job security or health benefits. You may need to provide documentation from a health care provider that confirms your loved one’s condition. If your loved one will need a caregiver for the foreseeable future, your employer could require 30 days’ notice before you can take time off, so talk to your employer as soon as possible. Click here to learn more about the FMLA and whether you qualify.
Get Help with Elder Care from Granny NANNIES of Miami
At Granny NANNIES of Miami, we understand how difficult it can be to juggle caregiving and a career. Don’t let your responsibilities as a caregiver keep you from pursuing your career. You can give your loved one the care that they need and do what you love. Let us help! If you need assistance with elder care, get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can discuss your needs.