Many of those caring for the elderly cut back on work hours or take on less demanding jobs. Trying to handle new business and care for an aging adult may feel completely incompatible but few people can just assume the role of full-time caregiver.
Leaving the workplace may seem like the only solution but this can have a devastating impact on the financial standing of a caregiver and health insurance coverage, not to mention feelings of self-worth. Balancing eldercare and business is a big challenge but it is possible and here are five tips that can help you.
1. Feeling guilty is counterproductive
What is probably most important is not what you do but how you do it. As a caregiver, you may feel very guilty that you can’t be with a loved one every minute of the day. The guilt ways you down and prevents you from enjoying any of the time you spend with a loved one.
You need to give yourself permission to have a life of your own. You can still work towards your business goals and find ways to ease the burden of caregiving.
Tandem Careplanning can help you to find and manage a customized team of caregivers from a network of vetted professionals. This will give you peace of mind to focus on your business and spend your free time with your loved one.
2. Don’t take on the martyr role and try to do it alone
You can’t stay healthy in mind and body if you don’t acknowledge that you have limitations. It’s a mistake to think that you have to do everything yourself. “Shared care” can work well and minimize your burden.
Let family members choose what tasks they’re able to do. Family and trusted friends can pop in and check on elderly loved ones if you’re too busy. Don’t hesitate to outsource certain activities.
For example, you can arrange for food deliveries and cleaning services. Adult day programs may also provide socialization and regular supervision for a loved one.
Treating caring activities in a business-like manner can help to spread the load. Online tools and calendars can help you coordinate care and keep track.
3. Self-care is very important
If you are irritable, and lacking in sleep because you’re burning the midnight oil, you will probably find yourself snapping at a loved one and feeling resentful. Your dedication to taking care of yourself has to remain strong.
If you devote yourself to caring and don’t keep up with friends, business interests and activities you enjoy, it will not only face burnout but it will be harder for you to recover when a loved one has passed away. You want to be able to look back and know that you made the most of your last days you had together.
4. Consider different ways of working
Technology has made working remotely an option and this can give you the flexibility you need to deal with the unpredictable. When you’re caring for the elderly, a phone call can come at any time. This can be very disruptive if you’re a paid employee.
5. Join a support group
To deal with the stress of trying to work on a business and care for an elderly loved one, you may find it helpful to join a support group.
You can learn from the experience of others and find solutions to typical problems, such as finding cheap handicap toilet seats or wheelchairs. It’s an isolating experience having to figure it out all on your own and being able to talk to others in the same position can be very helpful.