Do I have to quit my job to take care of my elderly parent?

As much as we do not want to or refuse to believe it, our parents and relatives are getting older. They need more help, and we are doing what we can to provide it. For many, the first step is a mandatory visit to the home of mom and dad once a week to make sure they are well, to help in the household and the shopping. However, over time, these visits increase, until they become a daily routine. This is the moment when the difficult balance between work and caring for a relative comes. That is why we start asking questions and taking an interest in nursing homes, centers or assistants to alleviate our workload. However, most adults are adamant at first – they do not want to leave their homes and do not want strangers to visit them and take care of them.

The difficult days are multiplying, paid weekends are decreasing and dealing with emergencies is becoming increasingly impossible when work commitments are awaiting your attention. After all, a large percentage of people are pushing for a career break, quitting their jobs “temporarily” and are confident that they are already giving their mother and father the care they deserve. Are you familiar with this?

What are the benefits of leaving work to take care of a loved one?

Each family is individual and choosing a “full-time” care for your parents, grandparents or other close relatives can be the most pleasant and meaningful decision. Firstly, because we can move in with them and be “at arm’s length” at any time of the day.  From a financial point of view, you will save money on the services of a potential assistant or caregiver during the day while you are usually at work. One of the benefits of staying as close as possible to the person in need of care is the opportunity to deepen your relationship and get closer again. In most cases, over the years, this connection is lost.

You will realize that some of these benefits are realistic but unfortunately short-lived. Such care can also lead to the well-known “burnout” and together with it, financial stress and changes in health can affect event the best of care for an elderly loved one.

Staying home instead of working. What is the price?

It sounds normal to you right now – the vast majority of people around the world have been working from home for months. However, this does not mean that they do not do it with the same dynamics and concentration that they have in the office. That is why the extra commitment at home would turn the “home office” into a real nightmare.

Assuming that you choose to leave work to care for a loved one, the deficit or absolute loss of monthly income is the biggest factor in making this decision. You certainly take it for granted, but you need to think carefully about the long-term effects of this choice as caring can take months, sometime years, and it is important not to neglect your own financial future.

It is possible that your parents/relatives still need the care offered in the homes for the elderly at some point, despite your constant presence. If this happens, you need to consider the cost, which is likely to be your commitment. It is more than necessary to consider any risk of leaving work and taking on the position of “carer”

The risks of leaving:

Work skills are weakening. Naturally, your colleagues will continue to gain experience and develop in your field of work. During unemployment, your skills will normally diminish, and you will lose some of them, as they are not your daily duty. Countless people leave their jobs and eventually realize that there are new professional or educational requirements, technological experience or training for a position similar to or even the same one you have held before.

The difficulty when you are back “on board”. This risk is taken by every woman who decides to become pregnant. A long period without working and returning to it after an absence does not mean that you will jump into the work process at the same speed at which you stopped. Also, it is much easier to continue working on your previous job and are familiar with the work process than to look for a job when you are unemployed.

Advancing age. Yes, age discrimination is illegal, but this does not mean that employers will not look for younger, energetic and diverse candidates.

Isolation. In most cases, a full-time caregiver means that you deprive yourself of the working atmosphere, miss meetings with friends and socialization. So, if you are happy that you won’t have to juggle between work and caring for a loved one, consider this factor as well. Taking care of yourself.

As in any other choice, there is no black or white. Your decision consists of many pros, cons and compromises. For some, leaving work and caring for a mother and father is sacred – the only logical and right decision. For others, it can lead to financial ruin and a loss of sense of purpose and identity. Being one of the latter does not mean that you are wrong or that you love your relative less. One the contrary, it means that you want to give them the best possible care when you know you can’t do it alone. That is why in Blocks Adult Care we provide a cozy, calm and family environment. You can visit your loved ones without interfering with work and without worrying about whether they have everything they need. The Blocks team monitors their condition, takes care of them individually, according to their needs, and also provides company and daily activities.

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