Should you leave your job to care for your loved one?

Many people find themselves in dilemma, to care for their elderly- Should they quit their job for few months? According to a survey an average family member spends 4.6 years in that role.

 

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With age, elderly parents need more care and assistance. Many of us do what we can do to help.

Susan, a full-time family caregiver told how she went from having a job to full-time caregiver duties. “Initially, it was weekly visits to my mom’s house, to assess the situation, doing chores, and run errands. Eventually, the weekly check-ins increased in frequency and turned into daily check-ins.  Juggling a job with caregiving duties was taking a toll on me emotionally and physically. All my paid time off or sick days were all used in the care of my mother. I had to take many unpaid leaves for doctor’s appointments. Balancing the work with caregiving duties was becoming challenging. I decided to put my career on hold to care for my family because my work performance was getting affected by caregiving duties”.

Similarly, Karen put her career on hold to care for her terminally ill father. Post sabbatical she has been deemed unemployable despite having experience of working in an in-demand field. She was a single child so had no one to share the responsibility with.

Becoming a full-time home caregiver has serious repercussions on one’s career and retirement plan. We know it’s an emotional decision. Therefore, it requires more consideration before you commit to it fully. The decision carries huge financial implications. This is why you must introspect and deliberate on crucial questions such as –

  • Can you afford the financial risk it poses?
  • Can your family get by without income for the foreseeable future? 

 

Understand the implication-

  • How will the sabbatical affect your retirement saving plan?
  • Are there any alternatives?
  • Would it be possible to afford a home caregiver or nursing home?

 

Contemplate a few questions internally- 

  • Can you deal with caregiving duties daily? 
  • Your parents need you round the clock. Can you forgo your social life to care for them?

 

You must be thinking- Few months can’t affect your career that badly. However, according to a 2009 National Alliance for Caregiving study, a family member spends an average of 4.6 years in a caregiver role. During that time would you be able to maintain your skills and contacts?

Let’s explore some alternatives that can actually help and make a difference in your situation.

 

Talk to your family and friends

Hold a meeting with friends and family. Ask them if they are ready to chip in any way so that a load of caregiving duties can lessen for you.

 

Remote working

Covid 19 had made remote working viable for employers. The majority of the workforce has shown that they can work from home as effectively as from the office environment. Before you ask your supervisor for the option of remote working. Make sure you list down ways it can benefit your employer. Then, present your case to your supervisor.  Make sure when you will be working remotely, how will you make use of technological options such as video conferencing, email, and Trello that allow you to work effectively.

 

Part-time job

Just because you are working full time doesn’t mean part-time is off the table. Ask your manager if working part-time temporarily is an option at your current position. Fewer hours would definitely lighten the load considerably.

 

Caregivers

You can contact your local agency that provides caregivers. You can hire a caregiver part-time as per your needs.

 

Employer-sponsored caregiver benefits

Family and Medical Leave Act is a federal program that allows eligible employees to have unpaid leave up to 12 weeks. FMLA allows the employees to retain their job and health benefits post their leave.

Before you finalize on any alternate. Get to know about the different types of senior care available. So, that you can make an informed decision. In the end, leaving work should be your decision. In some cases, leaving could make sense, for others it could mean financial instability. Therefore, make your decision wisely after taking into account every aspect of that decision.

If you have more queries on what type of care you should opt for or require home care services. Contact Prime caregivers. We are here for you.