Balancing Caregiving and Work

Balancing Caregiving and Work

Balancing caregiving and work is crucial for maintaining your well-being and ensuring necessary care for your loved ones. Caring for a person with aphasia is a labor of love that can have plenty of rewards for both parties. However, the monetary costs associated with providing care may force the caregiver to continue to work. To manage both effectively, consider strategies such as setting clear boundaries between work and caregiving, prioritizing tasks, and seeking support from your workplace and community.

There are actual costs associated with caregiving. According to AARP, family caregivers spend an average of 26% of their income, approximately $7,242 annually, on caregiving activities. These expenses can include housing, medical, and other out-of-pocket costs related to looking after their loved ones. Additionally, caregiving can affect the caregivers’ income due to work-related strains, increasing the average annual expense outlay.

Here are tips for working caregivers:

  • Prioritize and Set Realistic Expectations:
    • Understand that you cannot be everywhere at once. Set clear priorities for caregiving tasks and work responsibilities.
    • Ask for help when needed and recognize that it is okay to delegate specific tasks.
  • Get Organized:
    • Create a family calendar to keep track of caregiving tasks, appointments, and work commitments.
    • Involve other family members to share responsibilities.
  • Seek Community Resources:
    • Visit the Southwest Florida Agency on Aging and other local social service agencies to explore available community resources such as respite care services, support groups, and educational programs. They can guide you toward services that can aid you now or in the future.
    • Access online databases or consult with an eldercare services professional who can provide personalized advice and guidance on various caregiving topics.
  • Know Your Employee Benefits:
    • Read your employee handbook to understand company policies related to caregivers, flexible work options, and family leave.
    • Utilize any available employee assistance.
    • Advocate for caregiver-friendly policies within your workplace that will allow time off when needed without fear of job loss or reduced pay.
  • Separate Work and Caregiving:
    • Manage caregiving tasks during your personal hours rather than work hours whenever possible. Failing to separate work and caregiving can lead to increased stress, decreased productivity, and potential burnout. Set clear boundaries to ensure that you have dedicated time for both your work and caregiving responsibilities.
    • Schedule calls and appointments during lunch breaks and save research for after work.
  • Have a Backup Plan:
    • Seek out and identify co-workers who can step in if you need to leave work unexpectedly.
    • Having a backup ensures continuity in your absence.
  • Communicate with Your Manager or HR:
    • Share your situation with your boss. Let them know about your caregiving responsibilities.
    • Discuss flexible work policies that may already exist within your company.


Remember, you are not alone on this journey. Other working caregivers face similar challenges, and seeking support and understanding from your workplace can make a significant difference. Balancing caregiving and work requires open communication, self-care, and a supportive network. Prioritize your health and well-being while fulfilling both roles. Seek resources to help you keep a healthy balance between work and caregiving responsibilities.