Leaving Work To Become A Full-Time Carer

Written by on April 1, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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family carer

It is incredibly hard to see loved ones become older, weaker and in some cases increasingly more ill. It can hurt to see them lose their independence and can lead to family members deciding their loved one requires care. However, how can you choose the best care option?

Many prefer to care for their loved ones themselves, however, if in full-time work this can be very stressful, not to mention difficult. It can lead to people deciding to give up their full-time job altogether in order to become a full-time carer. However, it is definitely worth thinking everything through in greater detail before giving up your career.

 

  • Think carefully about what you might lose
    Becoming a full-time carer for a loved one will mean your income is significantly reduced. Are you able to cope with this? There is support available for full-time carers, for example, if you’re spending 35 hours or more in the week caring then you can apply for Carer’s Allowance, as well as a variety of other benefits, such as Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit.

  • Are you going to miss the social side that your work brings?
    Many people take working in an office with multiple people for granted. It is only when it is just them that they notice how lonely it can be. As a full-time carer, you will mostly be in the company of one other person for the majority of the day, so it is worth thinking about getting in touch with organisations like the Carers Trust or Carers UK who can recommend some excellent social networks and support for full-time carers so you don’t feel so alone.

  • Consider your alternatives
    You should always talk things through with your employer before making your decision to leave work. You never know how supportive they might be and what they might be able to do for you. For instance, they may agree to let you have flexible working hours or even go part time. Alternatively, you can put in a request for long-term leave and work it out with your employer whether you can have some days off which are paid. If your employer offers sabbaticals, this could also be a good option for you.

  • Talk to your GP or make enquiries with Social Services

Your GP will be able to give you a lot of information regarding care of the elderly, whether this involves general day to day advice, which can help you in your new role as a carer, or advising you on local carer support groups.

They should also be able to provide you with contact information for recommended local care organisations, should you wish to use a care facility on a part-time basis so that you can stay at work whilst caring for your loved one part-time too.

 

It’s also a very good idea to get in touch with Social Services if your elderly relative is disabled in any way, whether physically or mentally. They are here to help, so do not be too proud to get in touch with them.

 

Your local council is committed to providing elderly people, along with their carers, with care and support so all you need to do is contact them and ask for an assessment. This assessment will help them determine how much help you are going to need as a full or part-time carer.

 

  • Consider alternative care options
    Upon considering all of the above, if you decide against quitting your job and becoming a full-time carer you should definitely look into alternative care arrangements. Your loved one does not even have to move from their own home as there are plenty of domiciliary care options to choose from. You can get more information about domiciliary care from your GP, Social Services or your local council.

You also have to option of moving your loved one to an assisted living complex, where they can retain a lot of their independence but call upon registered nurses anytime they need to. Many assisted living complexes also provide daily meals and exercise programmes, which both help to ensure that your loved one stays as healthy as possible.

 

Alternatively, you also have the option of a full-time care home. There are many to choose from, so take your time and make sure that you and your loved one go and visit each possibility to make sure that you choose the most suitable one.

 

Whatever you choose to do, you have got to make sure that it’s right for you, as well as your loved one. They would not want you to sacrifice your happiness and life so that you could care for them. So carefully consider all your options, and make sure that you talk them through with your family and the loved one in question as this will ultimately help you make the best choice.

 

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Laura writes for North London Home Care Agency. When she isn’t writing about caregiving, she can often be found spending time with her grandparents.

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