Family caregiving must adapt as life returns to normal
The Times They Are A Changin is a classic Bob Dylan tune that in many ways still rings true today. What’s the connection? The one thing we know with certainty about living in today’s world is that life changes. It changes a great deal…and fast.
As we come out of the pandemic and return to “normal,” we first have to ascertain what our normal will be. In keeping with the theme of times changing, let’s look at what is about to happen in the world of family caregiving.
There are two significant events under way that will greatly impact current caregiving practices.
The first is the summoning of employees back to the workplace by employers. It was bound to happen. Although many employers were forced to enable remote work during the pandemic, many have indicated this was temporary. While some (mostly tech) companies will continue the practice for now, many workers will be called back soon to the daily grind. Reasons vary, but productivity concerns, lack of interaction, and the benefits of face-to-face employee collaboration are prime contenders.
The second is the winding down of extended government benefits, specifically unemployment compensation. The federal allowance of $300 per week officially ends in September, but about half the states have already decided to end the federal aid before that. Arizona did so last week. Regular state unemployment has always had an expiration date, and we’re seeing a significant number of ‘help wanted’ signs. We can expect a significant portion of eligible workers to return to the active workforce to some degree.
Both of the aforementioned events will affect the family caregivers who, thru the pandemic, have been able to spend time at home and provide much-needed care for seniors. When that opportunity diminishes as caregivers return to work outside the home, plans need to be developed, sooner rather than later, so the senior does not regress functionally or decline physically. Hospitalizations could result.
Here are a few ways a family caregiver can re-enter the physical workforce:
- Get help from family. Let everyone in your circle know you are no longer at home every day.
- Ask your employer to phase in your return (i.e., three days/week instead of five). This will provide a trial period to see how things go.
- Consider technology. There is a bevy of senior monitoring devices on the market. Prices and functions vary greatly, so do your research.
- Day care. Most adult day programs have re-opened. Some offer free essential home services to seniors.
- Arrange for an in-home care company to visit. Cost is by the hour. Must be scheduled prior.
- Consider a residential assisted living home that provides 24/7 care and all meals for a reasonable price. Can be located close to home for easy visits.
Assisted living communities are almost back to pre-pandemic operations. Residents and employees are vaccinated. Good cure for the isolation blues.
As you head back to your place of employment, allow CarePatrol to identify the best options for your family based on your unique circumstances.
Now back to the song (and please heed the warning!)
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'