How to Ask Your Boss For a Flexible Schedule to Help an Aging Parent

By Ruby Cemental

The role of caregiver for an aging parent can be tiresome, particularly when you are also working a full-time job. Having flexibility in your work life can help you enjoy spending time with your aging parent and make the most of your time together. Many places of businesses are open to offering a flexible schedule to employees that ask for it, provided they can be assured that the employee's work will not suffer as a result of a new schedule. Read through these tips for asking for a flexible schedule to help an aging parent before approaching your boss.

Define Your Needs

Before you approach your boss really think through what flexible arrangement you will need. There are several options that might work: 

  • Working from home
  • Changing shifts
  • Using sick time or PTO for appointments
  • Flexible hours

Keep in mind the needs of work as well. Is there a certain meeting you really need to be in attendance for? Can the flexible schedule you are requesting accommodate that meeting?

Create a Proposal

The change to a flexible work schedule should be taken seriously by you and your boss. Therefore, you should create a proposal which lays out what you are asking for. Be sure to highlight what steps you will be taking to ensure your workload is still being completed.

You want a flexible schedule for your personal life, yes, but you need to present it to your boss in a way that reflects how your new schedule will benefit the company as well. Maybe having someone come in during the evenings will be an asset because you will be able to hold conference calls with your international clients. Or maybe you have been taking long lunches anyway to go home to see your parent, so changing your schedule will help your co-workers and boss know when you are available and when you are not.

Whatever the details are, you need to present your case in a way that demonstrates that your flexible schedule is a win-win for you and the company. Preparing this in a proposal will help you get your ideas flushed out. 

Call a Meeting

Don't just try to catch your boss in the hallway and ask if you can switch to a flexible work schedule. Instead call a meeting. Allot enough time to completely discuss the topic. Schedule it at a time when you will not be interrupted. Your goal is to have a thorough discussion so your boss understands your needs.

Emphasize Your Value

While you will not want to appear to be overly boastful, it is important to point out your worth to the company. A subtle reminder of a project that turned out well or a quick reminder of your years of faithful work will go a long way toward predisposing a supervisor to acquiesce to your requests.


Recognize that you are asking for a big change on your boss's end, so be prepared to come to a compromise. Your boss might want to make small adjustments first to see how your new schedule will work, so be willing to start slowly. If your boss does not seem receptive to the idea, suggest a trial period of 3 months with the understanding that you will go back to your normal schedule if this is not working for your boss. And make sure to make it clear that your work will not suffer as a result of your changing schedule. 

At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one  manage their daily activities. Get more tips on being a caregiver in our FREE toolkit. Unlock all of our free resources by first finding your local Caring Senior Service office.

Tags: Caregivers