Are you a working family caregiver?
Recent studies found that three out of five family caregivers are also working outside of the home. The study estimates that these double-duty workers are providing 22 billion hours of unpaid care each year but it's costing these family caregivers billions of dollars annually in costs and lost wages.
Working caregivers report that their caregiving role impacts their careers in many ways. They feel torn between their work duties and their loved ones needs. This causes stress both at work and at home.
As family caregivers consider how they can make it all work, it is important to know there are resources that can help. Take time from your busy schedule to learn about these resources. There are many support services to help the public such as the Council on Aging, Alzheimer's Association, Age Well Senior Services and Senior Centers, etc.
More families today are doing the math, coming to the conclusion that hiring professional in-home care is the way to keep senior family members safe and well cared for, while allowing working family members to continue in their careers. In-home caregivers can perform many of the tasks that the family caregivers find themselves doing as their loved one's needs increase: light housekeeping, meal preparation transportation, assistance with personal grooming and hygiene, medication reminders and all around supervision and companionship. When there is a reliable professional caregiver with their loved one, working family members can focus on their jobs, with reduced stress.
If you find yourself serving as the primary caregiver for your loved one, talk to other family members about the situation. Explain the impact caregiving is having on your career and your life. Other family members may be willing to contribute to the cost of in-home care as a way of providing support for the senior family member - and for you as well.