Deciding the Hours You Work as a Family CaregiverSeptember 13, 2022
Family caregivers are some of the hardest working individuals out there. Not only do they have to manage the care of an elderly loved one (which is a daunting task on its own), they have to juggle their own lives, their families, and even their careers.
The limited hours in a day become painfully obvious when one starts providing care to a loved one. According to the Arbors, family caregivers provide an average of 24.4 hours a week. 23% spend more than 41 hours caring for a family member. Many caregivers don’t actively monitor the hours they care for a loved one, but they should. It is one of the best ways to discern your priorities and choose your hours.
But when you finally begin to monitor your time, how do you go about deciding the hours you work as a family caregiver? First, you have to learn how to properly balance your time.
Learning to balance your time
Finding the right balance between your variety of responsibilities may not come as easy as you like it to. It will involve plenty of trial and error. However, once you’ve learned to properly balance your work, personal, and caregiving responsibilities, you’ll be able to better shape your hours as a family caregiver.
- Set priorities: First and foremost, you need to figure out what is most important to you and your life. Write down all that it is you do in a day or week, and prioritize it. You may have to let certain things go. You may disappoint people along the way. When caring for a loved one, this is understandable.
- Schedule your commitments creatively: With so much to take care of in a day, you can’t be as laissez-faire with your errands and appointments as you once were. Utilize your time in as efficient a manner as possible. For instance, if you have a doctor’s appointment but know you need groceries, schedule a grocery pick-up ahead of time nearby your doctor’s office. That way, once the appointment is over, you can drive up, get what you need, and leave.
- Study your loved one’s needs: When a parent starts to exhibit signs that they require additional help, many feel obligated to take over everything. However, that might not be necessary. Just because your parent needs assistance dressing, it doesn’t mean they aren’t mentally sharp. Conversely, perhaps your parent struggles to remember to take their medication, but they are still mobile. Understand what your parent requires help with, and go from there.
Evaluating your time
Once your affairs are in order, you can take a step back and better evaluate how much time you can devote to your caregiving duties, versus how much time you should devote. You may have to switch things around to be there for your elderly loved one as often as mandatory.
If this is the case, it may be time to make arrangements with your employer to change your work schedule. See if your employer would allow you to work from home or work longer hours for fewer workdays. If things are serious with your elderly loved one, you may have to reduce your hours to part-time.
If this is the case, a new potential stressor arises lost wages. However, there is a way to compensate for this problem. Through the Illinois Department of Aging Community Care program, you can be paid for the care you already provide an elderly loved one by undergoing training through an existing home care agency.
Become a paid caregiver with Home Care Powered by AUAF
Home Care Powered by AUAF is one of those agencies. Our contract with the Illinois Department of Aging permits us to train family caregivers. This garners them the skills they need to present the highest standards of care to their elderly loved ones. To apply, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma, GED, or one year of comparable experience
- Reside in the state of Illinois and have the authorization to work in the United States
- Pass background checks
- Complete orientation and training
From that point on, your loved one can select you as their preferred care aide. Deciding the hours you work as a family caregiver now is in conjunction with us.
Receive respite care from one of our caregivers
If after spending so much time caring for others you find you need time to yourself, call upon the help of one of our respite caregivers. Our staff is trained to assist seniors with all the activities of daily living that have grown to be difficult, including personal care, medication reminders, and social interaction. So, all you have to worry about is taking care of your mental health.
Call us at 773-274-9262 to learn more about our respite care program, or for more information on our family caregiver program.
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