Is Family Caregiving Hurting Your Career?

By Ruby Cemental

Being a family caregiver is a very demanding job. For most caregivers, it's not their only job. Most family caregivers are trying to maintain their career while supporting a senior loved one. Balancing both is difficult at best. In some cases family caregiving can hurt your career. Consider the following examples for an outlook on why caregiving may be hurting your career.

Always in a Rush

While caring for an elderly love one, you may have to suddenly leave work because of an emergency. When this happens repeatedly, it may start to impact your career. Unfortunately this could mean you are no longer viewed as the reliable employee.

Unable to Work Overtime

Many jobs require working more than 40 hours each week. Staying later than business hours, and extra effort could be needed. Also, round-the-clock email support or phone availability is common.

If you are a family caregiver you probably do not have the flexibility to accommodate those extra hours. You need to leave on time to help get your loved one dinner and to bed. You are not able to respond to emails while completing these caregiving duties. Weekends are filled with time taking care of your loved one or running errands for them. If they still live in their own home you will be trying to do the household chores for two homes. Working beyond 40 hours just might not be feasible. 

Saying No to Business Trips

A family caregiver is typically not able to leave town. Their loved one requires their attention daily. In many careers business trips are mandatory. Meetings or conferences in other states require a plane ride and hotel stay. A family caregiver has to say no to business trips losing out on a networking opportunity and requiring the boss to identify a replacement to send. 

Difficulty Focusing

Because family caregivers have a lot of responsibilities, their productivity and focus is bound to suffer. If there is an emergency at home, it's natural for a caregiver's thoughts to be with their loved one instead of 100% focused on their work.

Juggling being a family caregiver and your career is challenging. It may be helpful to consider the assistance of a home health aide. This trusted person can help with many of the caregiving duties giving you time to handle the requirements of your career.

For more information about caregiving and how we can help you manage your career, refer to our Caregiver Stress Fact Sheet or download our ebook on the True Cost of Being a Caregiver. You can access all of our FREE resources by first finding your local Caring office.

Tags: Caregivers