Balancing caregiving responsibilities with career

Career Advice
Diyaa Mani

By Diyaa Mani
June 19, 2024

June 24, 2024

0 min read

Caregiving responsibilities can be challenging to balance with a career, but strategies for managing both effectively exist.

According to statistics, 43.5 million caregivers provide unpaid care to an adult or child within 12 months, and 30% of family caregivers report decreased work hours due to caregiving responsibilities. Additionally, 29% of family caregivers experience high financial strain, and 1 in 10 caregivers report worsening health due to caregiving.

Despite these challenges, strategies and resources are available to help caregivers effectively balance their roles at home and work. 

Read our article below to learn how to balance caregiving responsibilities with your career effectively.

Prioritise your well-being 

Zen rocks balanced with the sea at the background

Prioritising your well-being is crucial when balancing caregiving responsibilities with a career. This includes prioritising physical and emotional health by maintaining regular doctor's appointments and being aware of any changes in mood or overall mental health 

Practising self-care through a healthy diet, adequate rest, and physical activity is also essential. Additionally, taking breaks when possible and utilising teleworking options helps manage workload and reduce stress. Prioritising your well-being equips you to provide quality care for loved ones while maintaining your career. 

Communicate with your employer about your career and caregiving needs 

Communicating with your employer is essential when balancing caregiving responsibilities with a career. Start by discussing your caregiving responsibilities and the need for flexibility with your employer.  

Explore options such as swapping shifts, working on traditional "off-days," or working shorter hours on specific days to accommodate your needs. Identify your needs and set physical and emotional boundaries to manage your responsibilities and prioritise self-care. Be open and proactive about your needs. You can work with your employer to find a solution supporting your career and caregiving responsibilities. 

Maintain a support network for caregivers 

Maintaining a support network is vital for caregivers to manage the emotional demands of their role. Connect with others who can empathise with your feelings through community support programs or online caregiver groups. For instance, organisations such as the National Alliance for Caregiving and the Caregiver Action Network exist in the United States.  

Additionally, prioritise relationships with loved ones and make time for social activities with other family members to maintain emotional connections and a sense of community. Surround yourself with a supportive network, and you can better cope with the challenges of caregiving and maintain your overall well-being. 

Set clear boundaries between career and caregiving responsibilities 

Woman showing an elderly lady something on a mobile phone

Achieving a healthy balance between work and caregiving requires establishing clear boundaries. This means identifying your non-negotiables, like set work hours or dedicated caregiving time. You can then communicate these boundaries to your employer, colleagues, and family. 

For example, letting your boss know you won't be reachable after a particular hour or politely declining extra shifts can create space for caregiving duties. Similarly, discussing expectations with family members can ensure everyone understands your limitations. Doing this helps you reclaim control over your time and energy, allowing you to be fully present in both roles. 

Clear boundaries between work and family time are essential to avoid burnout. When I am at work, I focus on work tasks, and when I am with family, I strive to be fully present. This is easier said than done, but it is important.  
– Awien Syahirah, HR Lead - Airswift

Prioritise and plan your career and caregiving responsibilities 

Prioritising and planning are essential for caregivers to manage their responsibilities effectively. To balance responsibilities, create a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule that includes work, caregiving commitments, personal time, and leisure activities.  

Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and others to avoid burnout and maintain control. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable ones and delegate or outsource non-essential or low-priority tasks to free up time and energy for more important responsibilities.  

Utilise community resources to assist in caregiving 

To utilise community resources effectively, caregivers should contact local agencies on ageing for information on adult day centres, transportation options, meal delivery services, and respite programs. Additionally, caregivers can connect with disability organisations for details on local activities, support groups, funding initiatives, and accessible housing options.  

These organisations can offer a wealth of information on resources tailored to specific needs, such as accessible transportation, home modifications, and assistive technology and services. By leveraging these community resources, caregivers can better support their loved ones and maintain their well-being. 

Maintain a balanced schedule between career and caregiving 

Many of us struggle with the constant challenge of balancing work and personal life. Quitting work means losing the income necessary to support our families, while focusing too much on work can negatively impact our loved ones.
Awien Syahirah

Maintaining a balanced schedule is crucial for caregivers to manage their responsibilities effectively. Start by creating a timetable that schedules specific time slots for work and caring responsibilities. This will help you prioritise your tasks and ensure enough time for work and caregiving.  

Setting priorities for your projects can also help you focus on the most critical issues and maintain a balanced and manageable schedule. For example, you could allocate specific days for work, caregiving, and personal activities, ensuring a healthy balance between your responsibilities and personal life. 

Here’s what a well-balanced schedule may look like for caregivers with careers: 

Weekday schedule for caregivers

Time Activity
6:00 AM - 7:00 AM
  • Wake up and personal morning routine (shower, breakfast, etc.)
  • Prepare breakfast and medications for the care recipient
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
  • Assist the care recipient with their morning routine (bathing, dressing, etc.)
  • Prepare the care recipient for the day (meals, activities)
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Commute to work or set up for remote work
  • A quick check-in with the care recipient or caregiver, if applicable
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Focused work time
  • Take short breaks every hour to stretch and hydrate
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Lunch break
  • A quick check-in with the care recipient (phone call or video chat)
  • Personal relaxation time (short walk, reading)
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Continue with work tasks
  • Schedule a brief afternoon break to recharge
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Wrap up work for the day and plan for the next day
  • Commute home if applicable
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Prepare dinner and assist the care recipient with evening needs
  • Share dinner with the care recipient
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Engage in evening caregiving activities (hobbies, exercises, medications)
  • Personal downtime (family time, leisure activities)
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Assist the care recipient with their bedtime routine
  • Prepare for the next day (lay out clothes, prep meals)
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Self-care time (relaxation, light reading, meditation)
  • Wind down for bed
10:00 PM Bedtime


Weekend schedule for caregivers

Time Activity
7:00 AM - 8:00 AM
  • Wake up and personal morning routine
  • Prepare breakfast for the care recipient
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
  • Morning caregiving duties (bathing, dressing, medications)
  • Engage in a shared activity (walk, game, hobby)
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Household chores (cleaning, laundry)
  • Meal preparation for the week
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Lunch and personal relaxation time
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Afternoon caregiving activities (appointments, social time)
  • Personal errands or leisure time
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Continue with caregiving tasks or personal projects
  • Engage the care recipient in a meaningful activity
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Prepare and share dinner
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Evening caregiving activities
  • Personal downtime or socialising with friends/family
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Assist the care recipient with their bedtime routine
  • Prepare for the upcoming week
9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Self-care time
  • Wind down for bed
10:00 PM
  • Bedtime


To simplify the above processes, there are various tools you can use to enhance your productivity:

Digital calendars and scheduling apps: Platforms like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook allow you to schedule appointments and set reminders for work tasks and caregiving duties. These apps also enable you to share your schedule with family members or colleagues, ensuring everyone knows your availability.

Time management tools: Apps such as Toggl or Clockify can help you track how much time you spend on different activities. This insight allows you to adjust your schedule and ensure a balanced allocation of time between work and caregiving.

Task management software: Tools like Asana, Trello, or provide a structured way to manage tasks and projects. You create separate boards or lists for work and caregiving tasks, set deadlines, and monitor progress.

Caregiving management apps: Specialised apps such as CaringBridge are designed to help manage caregiving tasks. They can be used to coordinate care among multiple caregivers, keep track of medical appointments, and update family members on the care recipient's status.

Tips for creating a personalised schedule 

  • Prioritise tasks: Identify the most critical daily tasks and focus on completing those first. 
  • Use technology: Utilise apps and tools for reminders, scheduling, and communication. 
  • Delegate when possible: Share responsibilities with other family members or hire professional help if feasible. 
  • Stay flexible: Be prepared to adjust the schedule as needed based on the care recipient's condition and unexpected work demands. 
  • Self-care: Ensure you carve out time for personal health and well-being. 

Achieve a balance between career and caregiving with Airswift’s support 

Balancing caregiving responsibilities with a career is undoubtedly challenging, but with careful planning, flexible strategies, and the proper support, it is possible to manage both effectively.

Caregivers can find a sustainable balance by adopting flexible work arrangements, practising strong time management, leveraging support networks, utilising professional help, and prioritising self-care. Caregivers need to recognise the importance of seeking help and using available resources to maintain their well-being and provide the best care possible for their loved ones. 

If you are a caregiver looking for support in balancing your work and caregiving responsibilities, Airswift is here to help. Airswift can help you find the ideal employment worldwide that helps caregivers manage their dual roles. From flexible employment opportunities to resources and guidance on caregiving, Airswift is committed to helping you achieve a healthy work-life balance. 

Visit our website to learn more about how we can support you in your caregiving journey. 

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