Finding Balance as You Work and Care for Your Senior Loved One
Are you caring for a senior loved one while also working full-time? If you’re concerned about stress and burnout creeping in, there are steps you can take to make your life a little easier. And here are four things you can do to help you achieve better balance:
Get a Handle on Your Senior’s Finances
As your loved one ages, you may want to start helping them manage their personal finances. This is especially important if you start noticing signs of forgetfulness, like monthly bills not being paid on time or missed doctor’s appointments. If you’re worried about starting that particular conversation with your senior, highlight the benefits of having someone in the know who will be able to step in without missing a beat. Discuss power of attorney, living will, and health care proxy, and ask them what their plans are for the future: do they want to age in place, or are they ready to look for an assisted living facility? Being aware of their wishes and desires will help you make better financial decisions on their behalf when the time comes.
Reduce Stress at Work
When you’re dealing with stress at work, and you care for a senior loved one at home, you’re at increased risk for burnout. So it’s vital to let your boss or manager know that while you’re one hundred percent committed to your company, you’re also responsible for the wellbeing of your aging parent, and you need to be able to refresh and recharge weekly, if not daily. If remote work isn’t an option or if your company simply can’t accommodate your request for job sharing or for more time off, it’s time to look for a less grueling position. As you start looking for new employment opportunities, use a template for a CV that will highlight your academic background, skills, and experience.
Find a Reliable Support Network
With siblings and family members moving and living further apart, caring for an aging parent often falls on the one child who lives the closest. That situation can lead to frustration as you feel like you’re the one having to make all the hard decisions while your own career and family take a backseat. In order to prevent resentment from bubbling up, think about surrounding yourself with a group of people that will pitch in when you need a break. If you don’t have relatives willing or able to take on that role, reach out to a caregiver support group in your area and start making connections. You can also look for respite care for your senior loved one, which will allow you to run errands, attend an important meeting, or spend time taking care of yourself.
Start on a Different Career Path
If your full-time job makes it impossible for you to care for your senior loved one, consider starting a new career where you’ll have greater flexibility in terms of working hours or the ability to work from home. When you’re ready to get into a new field, sign up for virtual classes you can follow at your own pace: that option will allow you to seamlessly move from your current position to one that’s better suited to your lifestyle. For example, you can pursue an IT degree from an online university which will give you not only a diploma but also the skills and credentials you’ll need to succeed. And whether you’re interested in learning about cloud services or cybersecurity, you’re sure to land a rewarding job in an industry that’s ever-evolving.
Caring for a senior loved one while being employed full-time can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting, so it’s important to seek relief for yourself. Going back to school and finding a new job can help you avoid burnout as you care for your aging parent. So strive to find that balance so you can fully enjoy those years together.
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