Taking care of a loved one who needs help is something that most of us would do without a second thought. In most cases, this is as straightforward as taking a few days off to look after them and run errands.
However, when having to care for someone becomes a full-time responsibility, it poses a major challenge in relation to work.
Many carers quit, take leaves of absence, or transition to less demanding work. For some, though, this isn’t an option. In this case, it’s essential to rely on specialist carers and to consciously maintain your life balance.
Here are the main considerations to weigh when juggling caring duties and your career.
Being mindful of your right to work
You have a right to enjoy your job, to think of your career, and to find fulfilment in your work. In any case, you should not feel pressured to give up your career.
In this, you’re actually backed by the law. Legally, carers have the right to work if they want. They enjoy full protection against discrimination by employers.
Leaving your job
If you can afford it, one consideration is to give up your job, or to retire early if that is an option for you.
However, you need to consider carefully before opting for this path. In addition to losing your income and having to accept a smaller pension in the future, you will most likely also miss the social side of your job
Even if you think that leaving your work is only a temporary measure, you need to consider that it’s not easy to go back.
Especially if you have been unemployed for a longer period of time while caring for someone, or if you are nearing retirement age, it can be difficult to find your way back into the working world.
Getting assistance and balancing caring duties with work
If you know that caring for your loved one is going to take up significant amounts of time over long periods, and you want to continue your career, getting help from professional carers is an essential step to take.
Start by obtaining a carer’s needs assessment from your local council. This means that a professional will come to your home to assess your needs and those of your loved ones.
Following this, they will design a care plan, complete with the likely cost of professional care. On this basis, you can map out your further strategy.
Each situation and each individual who requires care are different. Consequently, there are different types of professional care that might suit your needs best.
These can range from hourly care to full-time live-in care. In the former, a carer will stop by and provide help for short periods of time. In the latter, they will move in on a permanent basis to provide assistance whenever it is needed.
Whatever you choose, it is crucial to consider your own needs and your physical and mental wellbeing. Only then will you also be able to look after your loved ones to the best of your abilities.