For the millions of women caring for an aging adult while balancing a full-time job, it can be a struggle to juggle conflicting demands. In fact, a new survey by Home Instead, Inc., found that one in four women in the workplace report that her career growth has become stagnant because of being a caregiver, feels her supervisor is unsympathetic to her caregiving responsibilities, and feels that there is a negative stigma associated with time off for elder care.
There is much that can be done to address this problem. Employers can provide support and resources to help daughters feel empowered at their jobs and working caregivers can educate themselves on the policies and resources available to them. Home Instead created Daughters in the Workplace, a free resource for working caregivers and their employers. Here, caregivers can test their knowledge on caregiving benefits with the “Can you take time off work to care for Mom” interactive quiz.
Furthermore, working caregivers can use the following tips to help feel more empowered at work:
1. Be realistic. Understand how much you can do.
2. Honesty is the best policy. Be honest with yourself and your employer about what you need.
3. Think creatively. Think outside the box to offer solutions that work for you and your employer.
4. Get plenty of rest. Well-rested, you can get more done and be increasingly confident in handling daily challenges.
5. Take one day at a time. Caring for an older adult is an unpredictable job and one that often calls for a measured approach.
6. Arrange for help including respite care. Check with your Area Agency on Aging (www.n4a.org) for community resources, or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office (www.HomeInstead.com) to learn how professional caregiving could help you.
7. Educate your employer. Do what you can to explain the kinds of challenges you are facing.
8. Look for ways to give back. If your employer offers flexibility and help, think about ways to pay it forward with your manager and co-workers.
9. Be organized. Honing your organizational skills could go a long way toward staying on top of your job and easing your anxiety.
10. Find support. Connecting with others going through the same circumstances could be meaningful. To explore additional resources for Daughters in the Workplace and their employers, including the interactive quiz, visit www.DaughtersintheWorkplace.com or find a Home Instead office near you by going to www.homeinstead.com/state.