How do you deal with an employer who is pushing you to make the choice between work and caring for an elderly loved one?

Follow
Share

I returned to work today after being out for two days with my mother in the hospital. As I came in I was given the lecture that it was our busy time and I needed to make a decision whether I could work and care fo my mother at the same time. My sister and brother live in other states so I don;t have anyone else to assist with mom's care. I presently have an agency providing in home care for mom while I am working. Unfortunately there is always a "crisis" either with mom or her caregivers. I know I will need to be with mom for some tests and doctor visits in the next few weeks. What do I do?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
25

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
The law is different here, I guess (Ontario, Canada). I swas told I could "work my hours or quit" when I asked for either personal unpaid leave, or for some vacation time I had already accumulated. That was a couple of years ago in early stages, when I needed time to get life organized around my Mom's needs. Given no choice, I continued to "work my hours" and also bring home work from the office.

I did take vacation time for doctors' appointments in early times, but Mom is beyond that now. Her GP is remarkably responsive by phone without my needing to ambulance Mom to and from appointments.

HOWEVER, regardless of where you are and the law prevailing there, there will be more and more of us workers / caregivers popping up in the workplace, and this is the time to make employers aware of that. They will simply have to deal with us more humanely due to our sheer numbers. Or suffer the loss of a whole generation of experienced workers.

You might want to start by gently reminding your employer of that.

Otherwise, I agree completely with Elizza's comments from March 11. You need to keep your employer in the care-needed loop without using your home situation to get "special" treatment in the workplace. Tough advice - I speak from personal experience.

My employer - a doctor with an office in a hospital that once held "seniors' month" - my employer couldn't care less about my home challenges. He just wants my BIC (butt in chair) and wants his office run with no disruptions. The only answers he accepts about anything is "it's on your desk" or "I'm on it and it will be on your desk by the time you finish with the next patient."

The workplace will have to accommodate the "sandwich generation" but we have a long way to go yet to make that happen.

Are there any advocacy societies where you are that could maybe send in some advice to your employer?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As an add on to everyone's good advice about FLMA etc, you would be wise to polish your resume & start looking for a more family friendly company - either big or small. The gov can only protect you so far and reality says that with an attitude like that it is only a matter of time before you are forced to make choices that you may not want to make, or have them made for you - even replaced. Don't tell them, but do go online & start looking. Talking to you that way is a red flag; and if you are already under stress, then it will make your life even harder during a tough time. You didn't say what you do, what type of co, or what your status is (full, p/t, ??) but regardless you must be protective for yourself, and by extension even your parents.
When I was first juggling a desperately ill parent, and other issues, I was approached by a company that had had my resume on file. When I interviewed they offered me the job, and then made the off hand comment about putting my mom in a home since I would be so busy. Needless to say I didn't accept that job, and have managed to find other clients that allow me to keep her at my home. Tough economies bring out the worst sometimes, but don't let them scare you into being afraid no one else will hire you. How many others out there have gone through this?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

KarenBeth,

I think your parents would understand "Mom and Dad, if I don't work, there will not be any money to pay bills and to provide for food as well as clothing." I'd keep it simple.

How much longer do you think they can keep liiving on the farm?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am right there with you..we only have 4 employees. and it's an old family owned business and of course the boss and his wife just plunked their parents in the nursing home and went on with their lives..they ALSO depend on me to help THEM with their medical ect....and I am scared. Mom and Dad don't realize how much I need my job too. Ugg what to do. I just have to do the best I can do too. I just keep thinking what goes around comes around..am promise my kids that I will go to adult daycare smile smile
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Wow! Really touch situation. I agree, with many other posters, check out the FMLA. But I would also get your employer educated.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

First read the laws. The FMLA has restrictions. Your employer has to have X number of employees withing a certain mile range. It isn't across the board. I am glad I held my tongue when my boss told me I'd have to quit if my Mother-in-law came to live with us. Be prudent, choose your words wisely. Do not get under the gun and blurt out things you may have to retract later.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I read through the thread of this difficult question... There are really no quick easy solutions. It shows very well based on the comments. How we all wish that we will all find easy solutions to juggling work & caregiving to elderly parents. Well, last night I came home past 10:00pm because of office meeting. At first my mom and daughter weren't happy. When I came home they're almost asleep. There goes another quiet evening... Boy I'm glad that I was just through with another late night office meeting. And now it's time to go back to work again, maid-less and mom will be alone for the next 5 or so hours. Have a nice day everyone.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Good morning from this side of the planet (South East Asia) Good morning everyone. I don't want to ruin your weekend folks! So i will not rant vent throw my rage hahaha! We all need a break! So cheers, hugs to everyone here. We're one big happy exhausted family of caregivers. Love you all. Happy weekend, take time to smell the flower, don't rush, sleep a bit longer... listen to music, watch a good movie even at home with your parents, in laws, spouses, kids.... Sweet kisses, good morning good day!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

mhmarfil, I easily identify with everything you have shared. It is very difficult and you have summed it up very well in my opinion. Wish the real picture were a whole lot rosier than you have suggested. I don't think it is, either. Thanks for sharing. I needed to read and hear your words today, especially. May you find continued strength within to keep caring and sharing in the way that you do for your mother. You are both blessed to have each other.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

dtflex my hugs to you. My ex-boss too was like that. Since he is a rich politician in my town, he will never understand how it feels to be torn between a trying to hold down a job and caring for an elderly parent. My boss has so many "staff" who can do the caring for his own elderly parents, this staff being paid by taxpayers money.

Now for ordinary folks like us, I gave up on the idea of hiring caregivers whether part time or full time! I give up! And maybe I pray i will never have to hire one even if another medical crisis happen. I simply know this is the era of maid-less generation. Simply put: most partime/fulltime caregivers lasts a few days/weeks only. After that you're on your own again. I've proven this time and time again. It's hard. But in my care I learn to work around it. I don't push myself to do things that I can not simply do for lack of time or money. I juggle my time among my govt job and my duty as the primary breadwinner for my family/primary caregiver for my mom. I feel soooo stressed out, drain and groggy foggy brain.. Just wanna cheer you up. some issues here simply has no other solution but for us to do it... and in the course of doing it, letting go of another. I've also toyed with the idea of resigning so that I can go full time... My polls here showed that most members of this site are willing to resign from their jobs so they can care for their parents. But I didn't heed the polls' results as I know that my job is the only means to sustain my mom's needs, expenses medications. Also my job helps me to detach from my caregiving duties and have a few hours of space for my own personal growth. Good night, just wanna send my prayers & hugs to you. Night night everyone!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions