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Balancing caregiving and working is no easy task. Seeing to the needs of a loved one with a chronic disease or health condition requires near constant attention: medications to manage, doctor visits to arrange, bills to pay. “People are human, and they just can’t keep up the pace of a full-time job and full- or part-time caregiving. Something has to give and, at times, it may be their work situation,” says Judy Santamaria, director of VNSNY’s Family Caregiver Support Program. Caregivers often find themselves taking time off or bringing their caregiving duties to the office, and even the best boss in the world can lose patience.
Though you might be tempted to keep your caregiving obligations to yourself, Santamaria says a better long-term strategy is to sit down with your boss to come up with a solution that works for the both of you. Here’s a plan of action:
Doing these things shows your commitment to your job, says Santamaria. “I recommend telling your boss how important your job is and how committed you are to it.” Companies typically want to keep good workers because it is much harder to hire and train a new employee than to give a good employee some short-term accommodation.
To find out how VNSNY can help you care for your family member, please call 1-800-675-0391.
According to a July 2011 Gallup poll:
• 1 in 6 American workers also act as caregivers.
• 24% of caregivers say providing care keeps them from working more.
• 36% said they missed one to five days of work per year because of caregiving.
• 30% said they missed six or more days of work per year due to caregiving.
• Caregiving costs the US economy $25.2 billion annually in lost productivity.