Achieve a Healthy Balance Between Your Career and Caregiving
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Your caregiving obligations can be a full-time job in itself - So it can be difficult to manage the overlapping spheres such as your employment, parenting and other responsibilities. Without thinking twice, we try to balance the world upon our shoulders. But despite our good intentions, the wear and tear of long working hours and taking care of our loved ones can take its toll.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, those providing 20 hours of care or more on a weekly basis are far more likely than others to report loss of sleep, loss of appetite, increased pain and headaches.
So here are some tips to help you manage your dual responsibilities:
Your workload is piling up and deadlines are looming - But your elderly loved one needs a visit to the doctor.
“Letting your boss and colleagues know about your situation should be your first step in facing up to the challenges ahead.”
Having complete financial freedom for you to carry out your caregiving responsibilities is ideal, but for many, it isn’t an option. Your job is important, but the daily stresses of caregiving on top of juggling work can be overwhelming.
How you adapt your work routine to compliment your role as a caregiver will make all the difference. And although every employer is unique, it’s essential you communicate with them. Letting your boss and colleagues know about your situation should be your first step in facing up to the challenges ahead.
This can be daunting - But you may be surprised. Remember your colleagues have families too, and their empathy can make all the difference in negotiating your flexibility.
Looking After You
Take time for yourself.
“Compassion fatigue and a lack of self-care can only have a negative impact on your immune system and, in turn, your ability to care for others.”
Self-care is important. How can you truly look after your loved ones if you’re not doing the same for yourself? Breaking your old patterns and putting an end to self-blame will allow yourself to be an even better caregiver. We often feel that by putting our own needs first, we’re being selfish. But research suggests compassion fatigue and a lack of self-care can only have a negative impact on your immune system and, in turn, your ability to care for others.
Begin your self-care journey by identifying the negative thoughts standing in your way. Encourage yourself with positive statements, like “I can make time to exercise today,” and avoid negative statements like, “if I don’t do it, no one will.”
It’s about setting small goals for yourself. Simple activities such as walking, practicing yoga or meditation, catching up with a friend, or preparing healthy meals for you and your family can make all the difference. Remember, your overall contentment will actually prevent feelings of guilt and resentment further down the track.
By lifting the burden and putting a stop to self-punishment, noticeable changes in your job performance will start to take shape. Our concentration and ability to process new information and apply ourselves analytically all depend on the levels of stress we experience at home.
“Have a family member, friend or community volunteer sit with your loved one while you run errands, or organise a companion service twice a week.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other members of your family, health care professionals, a friend or even support from a community volunteer or respite care facility. Asking for and even accepting help can be difficult, but it’s actually a good indication of personal strength.
Have a family member, friend or community volunteer sit with your loved one while you run errands, or organise a companion service twice a week. We also offer support to help you coordinate an easy transition for your senior loved one when implementing a move, with the option of independent or assisted living.
Take a Holiday!
Don’t let your holidays become a pipe dream - With Palm Lake Care’s respite options, a holiday may be just what you need to recharge those batteries and drive out those feelings of resentment.
Make use of Palm Lake Care’s tailored respite services. Respite Care is a service that assumes the short-time role of caring for your loved one. It enables families and caregivers to take a break from their work and caregiving responsibilities, minus the guilt.
Biting the bullet and taking a break can help you relinquish control, regain balance, and empower your role as a caregiver. Although it may seem impossible - There are always options. And when you take that well-deserved break, don’t forget to relax and enjoy yourself, remembering your loved one is in good hands.
News of a debilitating illness or health condition highlights a new chapter in you and your family’s life. It also goes hand in hand with making important decisions, either immediately or later on in life, for your loved one.
If you’re looking after someone from home, you might be assisting in bathing, clothing, preparing meals, transportation and managing finances. Fortunately, a multitude of assisted care options are available to you and your elderly loved one.
Think about the needs of your loved one.
"What type of assistance do they require?”
"How will you talk to them about their caregiving needs?"
Palm Lake Care can offer support in a number of ways to help you become more available for personal support, such as, taking your loved one out for lunch, organising regular visits from the grandchildren and managing bill payments. This kind of socialisation will actually help your loved one become more independent and lift their overall spirit.
Finally, start using a calendar and organise your weeks ahead. Designate a fair amount of time for each of your responsibilities and determine which of those to prioritise. Set goals, establish boundaries, and develop an “on-off” switch between work and home. Your organisational skills will be your guiding light in achieving a healthy balance between your career and caregiving.
Palm Lake Care understands the value of family; the diversity of support we offer to families and their loved ones is what sets us apart from other aged care communities. Our circumstances are all unique - But it’s our mission at Palm Lake Care to ensure peace of mind and quality of life for each and every family. If you’d like more information on respite care and assisted living - Talk to us. Call 1800 246 677 or visit our website.