Sharing the responsibility of caring for older relatives while you work

Published by: LifeWorks,

Sharing elder care

Caring for older relatives can be a challenge no matter what your situation is, but if you’re working full- or part-time, you may need additional support from family and your workplace.

Nearly 60 percent of caregivers are employed, according to an AARP survey. Two-thirds of those people make adjustments to their work routines, according to the society for Human Resource Management.

Here are a few key ways you can juggle responsibilities around your busy schedule:

Delegate tasks to others. Even if you can meet all of your relative’s needs on your own, you’ll provide better care if you take breaks from your responsibilities. Ask your family or close friends of your loved one for assistance.

Use free or low-cost caregiving apps. CareZone, gives you a way to track medical appointments, get reminders for prescription refills, and exchange information securely with family and friends. Or try CaringBridge, which lets you and others share encouragement, medical updates, and photos via its app or a private online community.

Talk to other working caregivers.  You may get helpful ideas from the online discussion forums like the Caregiver Online Support Group on the Family Caregiver Alliance’s site.

Consider hiring a geriatric care manager. This person can help with caregiving tasks that your job may not leave you time to do, such as coordinating medical appointments, interviewing home health aids, or tracking down supplies. Visit the site for the Aging Life Care Association to learn more about how care managers can help.

Find out what kind of support your employer offers for caregivers. Your employer may offer programs that would make it easier for you to juggle your work and caregiving needs, such as flextime, a compressed workweek, or job-sharing. Avoid waiting until a crisis occurs to ask about these, so you’ll have enough time to think about which might work best for you. Talk with your manager or human resources (HR) representative to find out about resources available to you through work.

More support for people who are working and caring is available to LifeWorks users. Go to the LifeWorks app or connect at login.lifeworks.com with your username and password. There you can search for “elder care” for articles, podcasts, and other resources.

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