Most family caregivers have part-time or full-time jobs, and also offer an average of 22 hours of support to their aging parent each week. When you work full-time and are also the primary family caregiver, it’s tough.
Encourage Your Mom to Do Things on Her Own
Encourage your mom to embrace as much independence as possible. If she can do the laundry on her own, but just needs someone to carry the hamper to the laundry room, do that. If she can walk around the block as long as someone is with her, join her on her daily walk.
Make the Most of To-Do Lists and Weekly Planners
For the assistance you provide, create to-do lists and ensure they’re in a location that everyone in your family can access. If your mom needs someone’s help to change sheets and make her bed, put that on the list of things you do once a week.
Build the list to cover daily, weekly, and monthly chores. You’ll order prescription refills once a month, but you’ll do the dishes and cook meals for your mom each day. Vacuuming is usually done once or twice a week, but wiping down counters and stovetops is a daily task.
Learn to Say No and Set Boundaries
You help your mom and have your full-time job to do. Your neighbor asks if you’ll also watch her pets all week while she’s away. If you simply cannot fit it in, apologize and explain why. It’s okay to tell people no if you simply don’t have the time.
Ask Others for Help
Make sure your siblings know that you’re overwhelmed and need help. If they have the time, they could take over the things you’re doing to help your mom. Instead of fitting in time after work to shop for your mom, your brother could do it.
Prioritize What’s Important
Prioritize the important tasks each day. If something isn’t vital, it’s okay to push it aside for another time. Your mom wanted to go to the park due to the cooler temperatures and sunshine, but you also need to wash her dog. If the dog isn’t extremely dirty, push the dog’s bath back a day and make sure your mom has time in the park today when it’s sunny.
Talk to Your HR Department About FMLA
Be sure your company knows you’re caring for your mom. If they know and you have to take time off to help her, the FMLA paperwork will be easily processed. You may not get paid to take up to 12 weeks off, but your job is secure while you’re helping your mom out.
Prepare Meals in Advance When Possible
As much as possible, prepare meals in advance. The less you have to do after work, the less stressful meal preparation is. Have onions diced and ready to use each week. Mince garlic in large quantities and freeze it. Grate carrots to be ready to add to soup or turned into muffins.
Hire Paid Caregivers
Bring in paid caregivers to help your mom around the home. In-home care aides can help her clean her home, make beds, change sheets and towels, and do the laundry. They can take her shopping, help her run errands, and cook meals.
Make sure your mom has the support she needs all day. With in-home care services, your mom has the help she needs, and you can focus on work. Talk to an advisor to start scheduling in-home care.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Northbrook, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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