When Work and Caregiving Call on the Same Line

On Saturday, Trish joined me for Table Talk on Your Caregiving Journey. Trish, who cares for her brother and works as a legal administrator, joins me monthly to talk about issues facing working family caregivers. You can listen to Saturday’s show via the player below.

During our show, we talked about the importance of communication so that colleagues and managers understand that caregiving could call you away unexpectedly. It can be intimidating to share an aspect of your life that’s so personal. You certainly don’t have to share all the dirty details, but you want you co-workers and managers to know enough of your situation so they understand if you have to leave because an emergency. Most important, you can work with them to create a back-up plan so that, if you do have to leave, they can manage your work.

Do you have a back-up plan at work in case you must leave because of a caregiving emergency? Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.


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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched CareGiving.com in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

2 thoughts on “When Work and Caregiving Call on the Same Line

  1. Avatar of JoJo

    Just had the opportunity to listen to this program. Great job as usual Trish, always benefit from listening to your experience. Violently agree with the points made, the need to communicate, advance plan/schedule as much as possible, build in flexibility as much as possible.

    Regarding the comment about how common caregiving is, I too have found that I as I share my needs with others in the work place, more and more of them have similar needs. Statistically we know that as the Baby Boomers age the population of caregivers and caregivee’s is growing. Instead of me being an anomaly, increasingly I’m one of many. It’s less and less, my office only covering for me, but instead all of us caring for each other. This isn’t a universal reality but I’m seeing this more and more.

    The other point that was touched on which I would emphasize, while I’m at work, I work doubly hard knowing that I could be called away or have to impose on my colleagues at a moments notice. I doubt employers think of their caregiving employees as the hardest working ones within their office but I’d wager that it is true more often than not.

    The typical person who is a family caregiver is a conscientious, diligent person… in every area of their life. They want to do a good job and provide value and are very cognizant of the impact of frequent, unscheduled absences. Rather than fear having an employee who is a caregiver and focus on the inconveniences, there is a benefit to be realized as well. This was touched on briefly during the program but I think it is much more common.

    Loved the ideas of integration of life and work. Too true.

    Denise “on mute”, such a temptation to comment :-)

  2. Avatar of TrishTrish

    Jo, You make such a great point about caregivers being the hardest working employees! This is true for so many reasons – we all have such great skills in order to take care of our carees that it is only natural for those skills to translate to a benefit for employers. I always joke that, now that I’ve been a manager for so many years, I don’t have any marketable skills. :-) Caregiving definitely builds your skills (heck, look at RoaringMouse who turned her advocacy and caregiving skills into a career!).

    I’m hoping Denise doesn’t go “on mute” for today’s show! :-)


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