Many working caregivers are working hard every day to manage the many challenges of taking care of their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) while juggling a full time work schedule.
In fact, according to The National Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 10 million people in the U.S. provide care to those with dementia and that those individuals are more likely to reduce hours or quit work than those caring for senior family members with other problems (other than Alzheimer’s). A study in 2009 conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP found that 7 in 10 caregivers reported cutting back on work hours or changing jobs as well as taking an extended leave of absence due to caregiving conflicting with their work hours. This gives you some idea of just how difficult juggling a full time work schedule can really be for many caregivers, but for those who choose to keep working, here are some helpful tips from AARP:
1.Find out how flexible your job is regarding hours. Many caregivers have been able to adjust their schedules and/or work from home part time or work split shifts in order to make their day go much smoother.
2.Consider working part time if that’s an option, or work two part time jobs to accommodate your loved one’s schedule more effectively.
3.Some caregivers have explored options for “phased retirement” allowing them to cut back hours without losing all of the pay and benefits.
4.Consider the cost for hiring help and compare that to the loss of income that would result from cutting back hours or going part-time.
5.Consider enlisting the help of friends and family members to be at home when you have to work as well as to give you a much needed break so you can take time for self-care.
There’s no doubt that caregiving is one of the most challenging, but also fulfilling roles you can take on, but caregivers need to ensure that they are not taking on too much-particularly those who are working caregivers.
Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease in our 25 lessons written for caregivers by CLICKING HERE to join at AlzU.org.