Elderly Parents Caregiving - Careers and Family, a Balancing Act

It's hard enough for most working women to balance the demands of work with children, schools, financial responsibilities

and a multitude of family obligations.

Add to that the burden of care giving for an elderly parent, and many women find themselves at their wits end.

It's one thing to advise such individuals to try to find downtime for themselves in order to enhance mental and physical health and well-being, but the sad reality is, there is often not enough help from other family members or community services for them to do so.

Caregivers of senior parents often feel (and with good reason) as if they are pulled in many different directions at once, and it may be extremely difficult if not impossible to do everything for your aging parent, your children, your family, or yourself.

Alarming Statistics

Recent surveys by the National Alliance of Caregivers and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) have determined that the average caregiver to senior parents is a 46 year-old female with a full time job (nearly 61%!) with children, family responsibilities and obligations.

Studies have also shown a steady decline in the personal health of such elderly parent caregivers, because women tend to do for others before they do for themselves. In addition, these women are also sacrificing, and often suffering, because they must often miss work because of aging parent care obligations in addition to facing the very real possibility of losing their jobs because of such demands.

Caregiver Balancing Time Management

Check out these statistics:

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that nearly 30% of workforce employees provide elder care for a parent or parents

  • By 2010, the percentage will increase to 54%
  • Over 14 million employees today are dealing with balancing careers, jobs and elder care
  • Stress related health issues for caregivers has risen 27%
  • Nearly two-thirds of caregivers express some conflict between demands at home and demands from employers

Studies show that these women often spend more time involved in elder care of parents than they do in the workplace, which results in fewer work hours, less take-home pay, or benefits such as health care for themselves.

In addition, such providers of elder care also give up on personal hobbies and activities that help them reduce stress, such as exercise, socializing and 'personal time'.

How in the World are you Doing it? What are you doing to cope with family, work and care giving? Click here to vent your frustrations or share your positive experiences!

Ways to Cope

It's easy to suggest methods and techniques that might help save a caregiver of aging parents time, but another thing to put them into practice.

There's always a husband, child or boss who 'just needs one little thing' here, or 'can you do that for me' there. Because of such constant and never-ending demands on your time, frustration, resentment, and anger may eventually build up, and in many cases lead to health issues for a caregiver.

What to do?

Have a talk with family members and enlist their help to provide elder care. Lip service is one thing, but actually making a connection to other family members is not an easy task. Many will sympathize with you about your busy schedule, but don't seem to make the connection that every little thing they ask you to do may only add to your already heavy burdens.

Dealing with Spouses

  •  Try to involve your spouse in decisions, planning and most importantly, helping!
  • Try to set aside some personal time with your spouse, even if it's a few minutes before you go to bed or get up in the morning
  • Try to discuss expectations and solve problems together

Of course, this only works if the spouse is willing to work with you on privacy, financial and elderly parent care taking issues.

Dealing with Children

  • Try to involve children in plans and let them know ahead of time what is going on – children can be incredible resilient when they are informed
  • Encourage children to interact with the elderly parent
  • Urge children to respect the privacy of the aging parent and to understand that you once lived in the parent's house under their rules also

Dealing with Employers

Many employers will offer more flexible hours to individuals providing elder care, but these issues need to be discussed and agreed upon. Discuss the possibility of taking some of your workload home. Can you engage in conference calls from home when necessary?

Remember that employers are also scrambling to fill the void created by unscheduled absenteeism. In order to meet his or her obligations with an aging parent, employers are often open to suggestions regarding such situations. Be open. Be honest. Be willing to compromise with your employer regarding ideas and suggestions.

This is the only way to ensure that his, your, and your aging parent's needs might be met.

Striking a Balance

Finding enough help, being able to adequately care for elderly parents, children, spouses and jobs takes its toll every year on men and women (mostly women) who care for aging parents.

To maintain your health and your sanity, elder caregivers are strongly encouraged to discuss such issues with employers and other family members. Many employers will work with employees faced with such issues, but you have to be willing to discuss them before strategies that suit everyone can be explored.

Communication is the key to getting the help and support you need.

Talking with Mom and Dad

How are Mom and Dad doing? What Issues are you Seeing that are Beginning to Surface?

How are Mom and Dad and How are you coping?

[ ? ]

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Stressed I have Oblogations to my Husband, Mom, Work, House finances Moms' and Mine.  
HELP!!!!! just not telling them because they just get depressed because they feel they have no one else to help them and they get in the woe is me attitude …

My mother and father moved to my town because of declining health about 3 years ago. Two days after they moved into their new house, my dad had a massive …

My Brother is Useless 
Mom lives with me. Hospital bed. Two shifts of caregivers every day. Caregivers that call in sick. Doctor phone calls. Changes in medications. Payroll …

Caregiving and Time - I feel like she is taking me prisioner and making me her world when I already have too many responsibilitys and other family obligations 
Caregiving and Time Management I resent her treating me as if I am her young little child (I am 50) to boss around and jump to what ever she harps on …

Caregiver - Stressed Caring for Elderly Parent 
Caregiver - Stressed Caring for Elderly Parent I am caring for my elderly parent and have moved her into my home, actually into our bedroom because …

Care Giving of Elderly Parents - Do it all? NOT 
I ended up blowing off what's important to me. I can't keep that up. I am angry & resent it. I have "Mom" parked in her new apartment and I'm trying …

Dear Caregiver Not rated yet
I know how you feel and how frustrating it is to put your family's needs to the side. There are places that do help with the bathing and grooming and they …

Click here to write your own.

Home | Site Map | About | Contact | Privacy Policy | Disclosure

© Copyright evSky Incorporated 2008-2019 | All Rights Reserved

Eldercare for

Aging Parents

Are you having a difficult time with being the "Caregiver" for Mom and Dad?

Click Here to Read What Others are Saying and Leave a Comment About Your Own Experiences....

Or Start your Own Discussion Page!

Recent Articles

  1. Need help with negative complaining mother

    Dec 28, 20 12:23 PM

    My mother is 93, in good health, no major heath issues, totally ambulatory. When my father died 6 years ago we found her a beautiful independent senior

    Read More

  2. Ugh!!

    Dec 28, 20 12:21 PM

    So I lost my mom 18 months ago. After her passing I would come to my parents house to clean and cook a couple of times a week for my dad. He still gets

    Read More

  3. 16yrs of Elderly care with NO HELP

    Dec 28, 20 12:18 PM

    I came back home in 2004 to help my dad as he had cancer, he eventually passed away few years later. Well here I am am in 2020 still at home taking care

    Read More