While running a business, you are responsible for your employees, your clients, and yourself. You are also responsible for aging parents. The demands of running a business may make it difficult to travel back home to take care of them.
But, how do you balance caring for aging parents with the demands of running a business?
How do you meet the needs of your aging parents while keeping up with the demands of your business? Here are some steps that can help you care for your aging parents while balancing the demands of your business.
1. The First Thing You Can Do Is to Confirm That They Have a Primary Care Physician Who Has a Good Working Relationship With a Hospital Nearby
And that your parent’s finances are in order,” says Curt Olson, CEO of Vivante Living, a Newport Beach ,CA-based company that provides concierge assistance to ageing adults. “The older adult will greatly appreciate the medical care and legal assistance that you provide”.
If they’re too independent to stay at a facility, consider working with an agency specializing in helping people with memory care living issues. This could be anything from help with balance to getting up in the morning to reminders about taking medications.
Tip: Focus on Your Parents’ Immediate Needs.
- Make sure that they have a caregiver who visits regularly and is familiar with their daily routine. If your parents live with you, try having a list of emergency phone numbers close by.
- At the very least, make the local emergency number available if a caregiver is not available.
2. Future Proof the Business Before You Take Time Off
Before you take time off to care for your parents, protect your business so that it can continue to run smoothly in your absence. Designate support staff to perform tasks that you usually handle so that they can continue to run the business until you return.
Work out a schedule with support staff to know what is expected of them and which tasks warrant follow-up. This allows your staff to continue operating the business as it usually would without worrying about making mistakes or slowing down operations. It also enables them to proactively tackle specific tasks before you return. In short;
If you don’t delegate properly, your business will suffer. If things start to fall apart at work, it will affect elderly care. The same goes for your personal life.
If you’re not realistic about the time you have available, you’re unlikely to make progress with either. You might think I’ll work extra hours to make up for the time I spend with Mom, but it’s easy to fall behind if you don’t make a realistic schedule for yourself.
Keep Checking in
This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget when you’re busy running a business. It’s better to check in on them daily than to wait until something goes wrong before acting because this unnecessarily causes stress and could lead to further problems.
Take time out of each day for phone calls or visits and keep track of them in your planner or diary, so you don’t forget.
3. Prioritize When and Where You Spend Your Time
The key is to prioritize when and where you spend your time to not burn yourself out. As BNG Team pointed out in their post, do not commit to things you can’t deliver on.
If you can’t take on this role, don’t feel bad about declining. Tell them you’re happy to help in other areas, but your family (and business) need your time and focus right now.
4. Make Sure Your Loved One Has Medical Coverage.
One of the most critical issues to think about is making sure your loved one has medical coverage. Depending on the type of business you run, this may already be taken care of, but it’s crucial to make sure.
Many people overlook the medical needs of their parents. However, as we age, we need medical attention more than ever. It can also be challenging to predict when medical issues will arise, so it’s essential to stay as informed as possible even if you feel prepared now.
What I’m talking about is health insurance. If your loved one is on your health insurance plan, you should take this opportunity to see if they need any speciality treatments — such as physical therapy — that aren’t covered by your current plan. You and everyone else in your family should also be up to date with their vaccinations and vision and dental checkups.
5. Don’t Make Critical Business Decisions When You’re Stressed
Says the CEO of Vivante Living. “If, for example, you are considering terminating an employee but are unsure if s/he is the problem or if it’s because of an age issue, try not to make that decision until you have had a chance to think about it for a few days.”
6. The Other Step Is Developing a Contingency Plan
That you can use should there be an emergency with your parents. Everyone has different needs, but most people want to stay in their homes as long as possible. This may not be the best option for your parents, depending on their physical and mental health.
Discussing all available options with your loved ones is essential. Understand that they may not yet be ready to decide a move into a retirement community or assisted living facility.
7. Ask for Help From Those Who Have Been in Your Shoes
Volunteering at an assisted living facility could be a first step to learning how to take care of another person. You could observe how the staff and other volunteers take care of the residents and ask them questions.
And, don’t forget to ask for help from those who have been in similar shoes. Your mom might have friends with adult children who are entrepreneurs.
Reach out to them for help. You can always learn from someone who has already navigated the treacherous waters of caring for an ageing parent.
If you don’t have anyone around you who can help, you can also find information online. There are plenty of online forums where entrepreneurs ask questions about how they can better manage their time or delegate tasks so that you could ask your question.
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