Career and care-giving: 3 tips for talking to your boss about your caregiver role
The AARP and the National Alliance on Caregiving reported that 43.5 million adults were caregivers in 2014.
Although they have not come out with another study with updated numbers, it is very likely this number has increased in 2019.
Out of the 43.5 million caregivers, 34 million were unpaid.
What does this imply?
It says that a majority of caregivers still have to work outside the home in addition to being a family caregiver.
Perhaps you ‘re reading this and you are one of those people who works a full-time job and is a caregiver.
Needless to say, your responsibilities are not a cake walk.
Interestingly, a large percentage of people in the study above stated that they were afraid of talking to their employers about their caregiver roles.
This is a truly sad bit because with that many people providing care for their loved ones, more employers should be supportive.
So how do you talk to your boss about care-giving? How do you get them to support you?
In today’s post, I will share three tips on how to broach the conversation with your employer.
Career and Care-giving: How to talk to your employer about it
Talk about what you’ve already done
Chances are that your employer does not know what you have done so far to help your loved one.
They may not know that you have to wake up at 4am to help your loved one in order to make it into work by 8am.
It is possible that they don’t know that you have an hour commute and the physical demands of care-giving and driving to work everyday is hurting your back.
Whatever your specific challenge is, it is best to lead the conversation with what you are already doing to juggle your role at work and your role as a family caregiver.
Find out if there are programs to support your care-giving role at your workplace
What resources does your workplace provide for people like you who are providing care for a loved one?
This is another great conversation to have with your boss.
Some workplaces may offer:
- Adult day care services
- Opportunities for respite so you can get a break from care-giving
- Support groups
- Resources for workers’ loved ones to help with Alzheimer’s Disease
But you will not know if you don’t ask.
Find out about remote opportunities
Another point you can raise with your employer is the topic of working remotely.
We live in a brand new world where working remotely is becoming more and more possible.
Working remotely just 2 days of the week may be more than enough to relieve of the stress of having to rush everyday.
Ask your boss if any such opportunities exist.
Your boss is more likely to give you the opportunity to work remotely if you have already proven to be a valuable worker.
So if you are already doing a good job within the company, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Other facts to consider
Roping your employers in about your role as a caregiver benefits everybody in the long run.
I am also going to be realistic and acknowledge that not all employers are understanding.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear that people have been discriminated against because they are caregivers.
Thus, in opening up about this, it is important that you assess your particular work situation to see if it will be helpful to talk to your employers about it.
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