One of the primary areas of focus for every human resources office is the challenge of maximizing corporate health and wellness. Complicating this challenge is the fact that some employees aren’t just worried about their own health. They’re also focused on caregiving responsibilities – taking care of both their younger and older relatives in addition to completing their work assignments each day.
Now’s the time to talk about what these members of the workforce can do better. July is Sandwich Generation Month – it’s dedicated to that demographic of employees who are “sandwiched” between caring for their children and their older family members.
This includes much of the American population. A recent AARP survey found that nearly 60 percent of caregivers in the United States are also working full- or part-time jobs. The Society for Human Resource Management has estimated that about two-thirds of these employees need to make adjustments in their work routines. Even part-time employees can have trouble managing their time and resources.
Handling both work and caregiving responsibilities is always difficult. It’s a matter of facing questions and uncertainties daily. When your older relatives become ill, you never know whether they’ll recover or how much care you’ll need to provide for them in the future. It becomes difficult to manage your time or plan for your future, either emotionally or financially.
Fortunately, there are ways to handle the dual burden of working and caregiving. Ceridian offers plenty of help through its employee assistance program, LifeWorks, including strategies for relieving the stress and answers to all of the frequently asked questions.
For a free sample, here are four quick pieces of advice for balancing work with family caregiving responsibilities:
Talk with your manager
If you’re in a situation where your caregiving role is affecting your ability to work effectively, your manager needs to know about it. Sit down and have an honest conversation about the problem – your boss might be able to help you juggle responsibilities and find a better way to balance work and life.
Consider help with geriatric care
Taking care of elderly relatives is very difficult, and it might not be advisable to tackle the challenge without professional help. You should consider hiring a geriatric care manager that can help with tasks that you don’t have time to do.
Find tools for time management
Managing time effectively is vital when you’re juggling these two roles. Fortunately, there are plenty of “timesaver” tools and apps out there. Calendars for tracking doctors’ appointments and prescription refills can be especially useful.
Take care of yourself
Finally, it’s important to remember that while caring for your family members is important, you also need to look out for yourself. Eating well, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep are important for everyone, even able-bodied people who are in their prime.