This post is sponsored by Philips. Opinions are mine.
Working moms are experts at caring for others. We care for our kids, our spouse, and our work projects. Some working moms are also caregivers to an aging family member. With so many family responsibilities and a full-time job, there’s no surprise if working moms experience all the emotions and exhaustion of their duties and even feel burn-out.
More than 40 million Americans provide care to their aging loved ones each year per the AARP. Despite the challenges, the caregiving experience can also be heart-warming, enriching, and fulfilling. Here are some tips to help working moms who are also caregivers find that delicate balance to keep up with it all.
Balancing Caregiving and Working Full-Time
It’s no surprise that many moms are the primary parent, whether they work or not, and likewise end up being the caregiver providing the most support to an elderly relative. When my grandma was in a care facility, my mom was the person who made all the arrangements, took all the phone calls from doctors, and went in to visit, bring snacks, etc. on a regular basis. In addition to working full time running her own business, my mom became the primary caregiver for her mother-in-law.
Now, I’m grown and have been out of the house for many years, but many moms find themselves sandwiched between caring for their parents and their own children. Managing it all becomes a challenge, so here are some tips to ease the responsibility load.
Let Technology Help with Caregiving
Technology is an amazing thing, and these days we have access to so many great services and apps that can help us to help others.
Your elderly family member may have a wheelchair or walker to help him or her get around. There are also special handles you can install in bathrooms to help make sitting down and standing up easier, as well as getting into the tub.
Now, we can use technology to provide other kinds of assistance. You can order groceries for delivery using Shipt or Instacart. And you can use apps to check in with other family members helping provide care.
There are also health monitors your family members can wear to track their well-being as well as location (for those of us with flight risk grandparents).
Your loved one can use a medical alert system such as the Philips Lifeline HomeSafe or GoSafe to call for help in the event of a fall or other emergency. Philips Lifeline is a personal alert system that allows users to press a button to communicate with a trained care specialist, available 24/7, who can dispatch the help a senior may need.
Philips Cares is a new mobile app that helps you create a care circle of trusted family and friends, access meaningful insights into your loved one’s wellbeing, and manage your Philips Lifeline personal alert service. It helps you and your care circle be there for your aging loved ones, easing and enriching their aging journey.
Philips Cares provides the insights and tools to collaborate in an easy and dynamic way so that seniors can have help when they need it, and their family and friends can ensure the right care will always be there.
With Philips Cares, family members can share notes, gain insights into their loved one’s wellbeing, and collaborate on care. You can also view the status of your Philips Lifeline service and receive notifications if any maintenance action is needed.
The Philips Cares mobile app is now available to download from the Apple and Google Play stores and can also be accessed via web browsers. It is available for customers receiving Philips Lifeline service in the U.S.
Discuss Caregiving as a Family
Communication is so important in helping families collaborate on caregiving. There needs to be a regular family meeting or check-in to establish a care schedule, discuss any changes in health or assistance needs, and support each other as well. It is also important to discuss finances so one person isn’t responsible for any unexpected medical expenses.
If there are several siblings, each sibling can take one day as their responsibility to check up on and help their aging parent. Maybe one person can take all calls from doctors while another coordinates housework.
Some tasks can be delegated to others, including kids and spouses, as well as hired out.
Transparency and Boundaries at Work
Again, while communication is critical at home; it’s also necessary for caregivers to communicate with their employers about their caregiving responsibilities.
It is always important for our work and home life to have boundaries. Working moms would never hide the fact that they have children from their boss or co-workers, and the same goes for caregiving.
Be open about your role and family responsibilities. Set appropriate boundaries, which may mean turning down overtime work opportunities and travel. But make it understood that work is a priority for you as well.
A flexible and understanding workplace is so important for working moms and caregivers alike, and absolutely vital for a healthy work-life balance.
Remember to Care for Yourself
We’ve heard the saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. When caring for others, it is vital that we remember to care for ourselves.
Remember to eat well, get enough sleep, and find small pockets of time for something enjoyable to support your own mental health. Find shortcuts to busy life tasks, such as finding easy meals and slow cooker or instant pot recipes. Use grocery delivery or meal preparation services.
Remember to make time for you so you don’t lose yourself in motherhood and caregiving.
Do you have any tips for caregivers? Share some in the comments!