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Roundtable turns personal

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Working Caregiver MaleTonight’s meeting – took a more personal tone. Yet personal issues and obligations do indeed impact our work, or our ability to find work. Sometimes, keeping our jobs while dealing with family trauma becomes the issue.

Not everyone who has elderly parents to care for have families they can depend on for morale support or otherwise. The adult ‘only child’ scenario. Worse however, is when there is family but they refuse to participate.

We all have a right to make a life –  to make a living. We have the right to a social life. As we age, so do those who raised us, and yet the roles are reversed  when the child becomes the parent.

When serious issues that may be truly out of our control, requiring additional family and/or professional help – steps need to be taken as early as possible. If someone is already working, you may have an employer that allows family leave or elder care leave. But that is not the case. The time and attention demanded by an elder parent due to their illness or disabilities can be overwhelming.

Some of us haven’t even thought about that yet  — about a time that may come when we’re getting called throughout the workday for various reasons, interrupting productivity and over time, possibly jeapordizing their jobs; having to leave work for emergencies or not being able to return as soon as thought.

Those searching for work are similarly impacted. How do you tell a prospective employer that you will not be able to make the interview that was scheduled – or not be able to start that first day of work just yet, because there’s been another emergency with a parent?

Short term, it can be manageable. But long term – one’s own health may begin to suffer, emotionally and physically. Fatigue sets in, a lack of motivation or a constant distraction because someone else is demanding of your time, maybe unreasonably.

Finding resources and researching all of your options is time consuming as well. When family refuses to help, maybe a good friend can. Someone who is just enough removed emotionally but understands enough to ask the right questions on your behalf. Split the list up – delegate – get support at least in this regard. Maybe you can’t make those calls while at work but someone else can.

Hopefully the sharing of a burden such as this with others, as well as sharing of resources will help sooner than later. We are all entitled to have a life and make a living. And people who interfere with that, or don’t support your efforts to do so – just aren’t people one needs to really have in their life.


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