Talk to an employer about caregiving support

Alan Wu

May 19, 2011

One of the biggest symptoms of caregiver burnout is a deep feeling of isolation, and the sense that one has to tough it out alone. Individuals often give up careers, social lives and personal hobbies to better tend to an elderly parent.

However, this can ultimately lead to a lower quality of care, and harm the mental and physical health of the caregiver. suggests that those who are desperately trying to juggle work with these responsibilities should try to use the resources available to them through their employer.

Some companies offer counseling or support services, but almost all of them will be able to give an employee 12 weeks of unpaid leave of absence through the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Employees may also want to consider adding safety measures at home, such as medical alert systems. These devices enable older adults to immediately send a personal emergency response message to a call center if they require assistance.

If workers need more time off to help a senior, try working out flexible hours with an employer. Ask about the possibilities of telecommuting, as well as working late or coming in early to make up for lost time.

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