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Four Tips for Managing the Caregiver's Other Job

July 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 280

More than 40 million adults in the United States are providing some sort of ongoing help with activities of daily living to an older adult. This figure jumps to more than 60 million adults who at some point during the year are caregivers to an older adult or other person with special needs in their orbits. What I hear a lot of is how much caregiving can create huge pressure when the caregiver already has a "day job." There may be no magical fix, but here are four suggestions for not letting the stress of two jobs get the best of you if you are a caregiver.

First, you may feel that the demands or your job and the demands of caregiving are too much, and you may think about quitting your day job altogether. That may not be financially feasible for many employed caregivers, so start out by actually talking with your boss or with your human resources department. You may find that your company has an employee assistance program that includes support for caregivers. Or they may even have a geriatric care manager available. Consider also asking for a couple weeks off to consult with local resources to get a care plan in place to handle the demands of the older adult in your orbit. These weeks off can be accommodated by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Second, talk to your boss and a couple colleagues about your plans. (Key is to actually have a plan first.) If you can explain to your boss how you will be able to meet the demands of your workload and you have thought through the steps, you can expect a favorable reception. Talking to a couple colleagues about your projects and work calendar also can help them be prepared to step in for you should an emergency ever come up that takes you away from work for a few days or more.

Third, and really part of the second, be honest with your supervisor about the personal calls that you may expect to take while on the clock. Let the boss know how you are going to maintain your workload, despite these periodic interruptions so that you don't feel as if you are sneaking around. And check in with the boss routinely to ask how you are doing and how your plan is working.

Fourth, manage your stress. With caregiving filling in the gaps that used to be your downtime, you may find yourself feeling out of sorts, short-tempered or have difficulty sleeping. Check into community resources for respite care as well as local support groups of people who will really understand what you are going through. Remember that exercise is a great cure for stress, and don't use the excuse about not having the time. Make the time. You will find that if you take a bit of time to work out and clear your mind that you are much more efficient in everything else you do. It will also help you to take those calming breaths when faced with stress rather than wring your hands and pull at your hair.

For more information on resources on-line as well as in your locale go to Caring.com.

We are the professionals who help families who are caring for older adults (geriatric care management) or others with special needs in Illinois. Our professional geriatric care managers and special needs case managers can be your eyes and ears when you simply cannot. Find services and web sites which can help you as a caregiver to an older adult or someone with special needs on our Resources page: http://www.creativecasemanagement.com/resources.aspx. Get helpful advice and support from Charlotte Bishop on her blog page: http://www.creativecasemanagement.com/blog.aspx.

Source: EzineArticles
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