Lindsey Abbott, eldercare consultant at Parental Choice met us this week to explain how COVID-19 has thrown another ball into the career + caring juggling act.
I sit down to write this blog having read once again in the newspapers about the terrible impact that COVID-19 is having on our elderly population and their families. Whilst many families face the dilemma of how best to support their elderly family member in their own home or in a care home, they also have the added worry of a virus that has taken away the simple pleasures in life for so many relatives, leaving them feeling vulnerable and isolated. But is it just the elderly who are feeling so restricted?
The sandwich generation
With our elderly population living longer and many families still supporting children living at home, it is apparent, through articles in the media and the personal experience of colleagues and friends around us, that there is an overwhelming strain on mums and dads. They are more likely to feel limited in the number of hours they can work whilst looking after their children and their older relatives.
These middle-age adults caring for their family and elderly relatives are the sandwich generation and for them life can be extremely stressful. As a result, many family caregivers move (very often with the mental anguish of the decision they have made) to part time employment or take a leave of absence from their place of work. This situation can add financial stress to an already challenging family equation.
Support for carers
“You should take care of yourself,” is probably the most annoying piece of advice to hear if you are caring for someone at home or visiting a relative in a care home when you are able to do so! Usually the carer thinks about herself or himself last of all. Just getting through the day can be an achievement when responsibilities can be all consuming.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, The Office for National Statistics has recognised that “compared with the general population, those who spend more time caring show lower levels of health and life satisfaction and are also more likely to experience symptoms of depression or anxiety.” It is, therefore, those family members that we need to support in some way to ensure that their lives are fulfilled too.
How Parental Choice can help
If possible, support from the immediate family is obviously invaluable as they will know the elderly relative so well. Just that opportunity of sharing responsibilities can bring some relief to a carer, but it is not always a long-term solution. Caring is a role that can be taken on for different periods of time which can be a challenge when trying to maintain a career too. That is where Parental Choice can help. We recognise there can be many worries and stresses experienced by people juggling a career whilst having to consider the health and welfare of their elderly relative.
The PC Family Care team can advise on the types of care available for your elderly relative once they have been assessed. If you need a residential care home or companion they can assist in finding you the best possible solution.
PC Family Care is part of Parental Choice who have been helping families juggle work and life since 2011. Find out more about their eldercare services and watch a video on finding a care home on our website.