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At some point, many of us become a caregiver for a family member. It could be a child, a parent or a spouse. For those of us who are also employed, working out arrangements with our employer will be one of the first things that needs to be accomplished.

Telling your boss that your schedule will be disrupted for an unknown length of time may leave them feeling that you are unreliable. Though some employers may be sympathetic, others will make you wonder if you should take a leave of absence or quit.

Since many employees are also caregivers, some companies have started to work around the dual employee/caregiver role. They don’t want to lose valuable, long time workers and train new employees.

How can I work out an arrangement with my employer that will also include time for caregiving?

  • Look into your employee rights. What are your options for these circumstances?
  • Have a detailed plan in place that will prove to your employer that you can handle your job as well as your caregiving role.
  • Discuss telecommuting options if they are available for your position.
  • Does your company have any benefits for eldercare?
  • Do you qualify for a leave of absence?

Be flexible with your employer. Don’t demand a certain set of hours. Once the two of you have discussed the situation, find out what your employer has to offer you and take it from there.

Be direct when speaking with your boss. Don’t hide the situation but find out if there is a flex time opportunity. Explain ways in which you can still handle your job and take certain hours off for caregiving.

Handling a full time job plus the extra work of caregiving is very stressful and needs cooperation from all parties involved. Try to work out accommodations with your employer so both of you will be happy.