Caregivers are really the underappreciated heroes when it comes to planning their time and getting the most out of every day.
In many instances, juggling an occupation alongside caring for a loved one can amount to what feels like two full-time jobs. And in these circumstances, it can be tough for those looking after people to balance their own needs and personal responsibilities.
However, there are many ways in which you can seek help and ensure that you are meeting life’s challenges. And, most importantly, ensure that you as a carer are getting your fair share of respite as well.
This post will run through some of the ways caregivers can balance their full or part-time jobs with their assistance priorities.
Approach Human Resources If You’re An Employee
If you are in a full or part-time job alongside your caring responsibilities, your first port of call in getting support should be your company’s HR department.
They may have already been made aware of your situation. However, you should ensure that you keep them updated on your challenges, because they may be able to offer you additional help as time goes on.
Many businesses offer what is known as an Employee Assistance Program designed for people like you, who have additional caring responsibilities at home. These programs can, for instance, get in contact with a geriatric care manager who may be able to help you organize your caring duties. Your HR department may also be able to arrange a ‘flexi-time’ contract that could allow you the opportunity to work remotely from home. Or, make up the hours at a time that is most convenient for you.
The cost of interviewing and hiring a new member of staff can be quite high. In many cases, allowing an employee more flexibility is a great way to retain dedicated members of staff for years to come. This is why it is in your bosses’ best interests to help you as much as they can. So, don’t be afraid to make an appointment to explain your challenges and additional needs.
Join A Carer’s Network Online
You are certainly not alone in needing to balance work, home life, and caregiving duties. Your lifestyle can be overwhelming. Having someone to talk to who understands your situation can be hugely beneficial.
Head to Facebook and seek out community and groups pages that can put you in touch with carers in your city. Many will hold regular meetups and events that will give you a great opportunity to unwind. You can also approach forums like Caregivers USA that are filled with interesting discussion topics and tips all sorts of things.
You can also check your local newspaper and directory websites for coffee mornings, meetups. and relevant events in your area.
Check Out Some Reputable Volunteer Services
Sites like Yelp have sections on volunteers in your local area. You can use trusted reviews sites to help you get in touch with experienced volunteers. If you are struggling on a particular day, perhaps you could find a volunteer who will offer to wash the car or pick up some groceries.
Yelp set the standard when it comes to reviews sites. You can check out your volunteer’s profile to see what experience they have and what kind things people have had to say about their services in the past.
Additionally, you should talk to your friends and relatives about setting up a shared messaging group where you can collaborate and share out tasks and responsibilities you would like some extra help with. By creating a place where you can each share your schedules, you can easily keep track of who is where at what time, making your life a bit easier.
Generating Additional Income With A Small Amount Of Work
In many cases, carers may need to forgo their full-time career plans, switch to part-time work or, even give up their jobs entirely. If that is the case, it can put a huge amount of pressure on you to make ends meet. An additional source of income could be a huge blessing. Many may not have the time to study, start their own business, or work all day on a computer, so it’s important to find something that’s easy to balance with caring.
By running a part-time online business, you can pursue the hobbies you love and make a bit of money in a way that won’t involve hours and hours of daily grind. With the understanding that you won’t have a lot of starting capital for your new business venture, dropshipping could be a viable option for you. Dropshipping is where you list products from a third party supplier on your online store, and they handle all the storing and shipping of your goods. You only pay for the stock you have sold.
If dropshipping doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of part-time online roles and business ideas you might like. From blogging and affiliate marketing, to user-testing and being a virtual assistant — working online can give you the flexibility to pick and choose your hours.
None of these are get rich quick schemes, but for the right person, they can become an important lifeline and way to develop new skills at home. Thanks to online freelancing sites, you can get set up with clients pretty much immediately if you are able to offer online writing, image editing, web design, transcription, or coding skills.
The most important aspect of balancing all of your responsibilities is making sure that you get enough ‘me-time’ to unwind and get enough sleep.
Apps like SleepCycle measure your biorhythms as you sleep and sets an alarm to match the end of your last REM cycle each night. (Don’t worry — this does not mean that it will wake you up in the middle of the night). The app works with your alarm and works within a half an hour window of your ideal ‘wake up time.’ Ensuring that you start the day in a good mood can make a huge difference. Look into more online tools that can help you meditate, get enough exercise, and eat right. They are all essential for anyone working from home and balancing caring duties.
Make sure you keep in touch with friends and communities who understand your circumstances and can give you practical support. There are always people to talk to, and solutions to even the trickiest of problems! Happy caring and earning 🙂
Patrick Foster, ecommerce entrepreneur, coach & writer.
Patrick Foster is an ecommerce expert, coach and freelance writer for his blog, Ecommercetips.org. He has lots of experience in the field, including SEO and content marketing for online stores.