Your phone rings.

It’s the independent living facility where your mom lives.

She fell and is being admitted to the hospital. She may have fractured her ankle.

Your role has now shifted from adult child to caregiver. But you still work full-time.

How do you incorporate being a caregiver while working full-time?

At first, you may be able to meet your work obligations and take care of your elderly parent.

However, the stress from lack of sleep and not enough hours in the day will eventually wear on you.

Before you reach that point, try these suggestions for help in caregiving.

Enlist siblings or other family members nearby. 

You may be the decision-maker, but you don’t have to go it alone. Ask others to help.

They can take your elderly parent to doctor appointments or check in on them while you’re at work.

Find volunteers. 

Some churches have volunteers available to help during times like what you are experiencing.

They can provide companionship, transportation to doctor appointments, and even prepare meals for your elderly parent.

Contact the case manager assigned to help you. 

If your parent was admitted to a hospital, then a case manager may have been assigned to you.

The role of the case manager is to minimize the length of stay your parent is in the acute care hospital.

The acceptable length of stay is correlated to what the payor (e.g., Medicare) will reimburse the hospital for care.

Many case managers have a list of reputable resources and understand what insurance will cover.

Check with your HR department. 

Your employer may have benefits to help you during this difficult time.

Resources may be available at a discount, or you may even be able to take a leave of absence.

Be persistent in your quest for help, especially if you need to continue working full-time.

While many of us prefer to keep our private life separate from work (especially if you’re in a senior position), instances like being a caregiver take precedence over the general rule of thumb.

Becoming a caregiver can come at a time when you are very busy at work.

Talk with your manager about finding additional resources to meet deadlines or even adjusting deadlines.

If you need more flexibility during the day but can make up work during the evening, then ask for that flexibility.

If your job isn’t flexible, then focus on finding outside help for the caregiving role during work hours.

Becoming a caregiver can come at the most inopportune time, especially if you still working full-time.

It’s an added responsibility with significant time demands.

Don’t go it alone. Many people are struggling with this same obstacle.

Use resources to help with the caregiving aspect.

On the work end, talk with your manager about flexibility, additional resources, and adjusting deadlines.

Be proactive to avoid burnout.

(Update to original post from June 28, 2018)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”