By February 21, 2014 Read More →

Caring for the elderly while working from home

Caring for the elderlyLast year I wrote about my own personal challenges of looking after elderly parents from a distance.

At A’s blogging workshop earlier this week it emerged that everyone attending was caring for the elderly in some way.

And one attendee is coping with three elderly relatives in different locations around the UK!

This is an issue that is becoming more and more pressing, and today’s sponsored post by the Director of Balcombe Care Homes looks at how flexible working can alleviate the pressure on those caring for the elderly.

As the population in the UK continues to get older, more and more of us are becoming carers for elderly relatives. One of the main challenges people are facing is how to fit in their caring responsibilities with their working life.

Naturally, not all elderly people wish to enter formal care, and nor can everyone afford to. Relatives have to be savvy and work out new ways of caring for the elderly whilst retaining a relatively normal life and continuing to work.

Flexible working rights and caring for the elderly

Anybody who has caring responsibilities, for children or for elderly relatives, has the right to request a flexible working contract if they have worked for their current employer for more than 26 weeks.

Normally you are under no obligation to disclose to your employer that you are a carer, but if you wish to try to improve your work-life balance then this will form part of the case you put to them.

Many carers find that home working is an ideal way to divide their time between caring and working. When the hours are more flexible, they often find that their caring commitments are a bit easier. Another advantage, of course, is that a lot of time is saved when you don’t have to commute to and from work.

If you are thinking about applying for flexible working to ease the burden on your caring duties, it might be a good idea to look into whether your employer has a specific policy on supporting employees who are carers. Many employers take this into account and you may be surprised at how supportive they can be.

It is worth remembering, however, that even if you have a legal right to apply for home working, your employer is under no obligation to agree to your request. They are simply required to consider your application and give it a fair hearing.

Have you asked your employer to consider allowing you flexible working or to work from home? Were they sympathetic? Do you think organisations are properly set-up to address this issue of caring for the elderly, or are they slow to catch on?

We’d like to hear about your experiences.

Posted in: Family

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