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Senior Caregiving: Asking Your Employer for a Flexible Schedule

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You probably knew the time would come one day when your parents would need you to care for them. However, you are still taking care of yourself and need to maintain your employment. If it is feasible at your job, then maybe you have considered changing your schedule a bit. Below are a few tips for asking your boss for a flexible schedule to help an aging parent or loved one.

  • Be Honest and Straightforward with Your Boss

Try to explain to your boss how things have changed in your life. Let him/her know the difficult position that you are in and tell your boss that you need your job, but also have the responsibility of caring for your aging parent. Try not to put a time limit on how long you will need to work this flexible schedule. You might be tempted to do that, in order to ease the tension and get him/her to say yes to the schedule. Making promises you can’t keep will lead to problems later, so it is better to be open and honest with your boss.

  • Have an Objective Clearly in Mind Before You Speak with Your Employer

Just going in and asking for a “flexible schedule” leaves too many unanswered questions. Think about your needs, as well as the needs of the company. Do you have a schedule in mind that you would like to work? If you have been working at the company and with your specific boss for a good amount of time, then you can likely think of a schedule that will give you more time to be with your parent while not creating a hardship for the company. When you speak with your employer, don’t just ask for a new schedule, try to confidently explain how it will work out for you, as well as for their place of business.

  • Consider Respite Care

Respite care is short term care for your loved one. Whether in a community or at home, care is provided on a temporary basis while a caretaker is on vacation or indisposed due to surgery or illness. It is a good idea to consider Respite care if you are too busy with work or other things. Respite care can be a life saver for caregivers needing a break from the physical and mental demands and the stress of care giving! Caregivers can rest knowing that their loved one is well taken care of.

Your parents’ love for you caused them to make many life adjustments to care for you. Think of this as an opportunity to show your appreciation.