Long hours on the job, caring for your family, exercising, cooking, cleaning, and somewhere in the midst of that, taking “time for you.” Balance is an elusive goal for many working caregivers, and even if your senior family member resides in assisted living, you still have to make time for visiting.
You can’t add more hours to the day, but you can manage your time differently so these visits are meaningful and not a menace to your already packed schedule.
Consider these ideas for things to do when your time is limited (hint: delegating tasks is important too):
1. Try for morning meetups. Maybe you don’t have to be in the office until later in the morning. Take advantage of that time; have breakfast or a cup of coffee together at the assisted living community on your way in.
2. Schedule a recurring date for Sunday afternoons. You’ve had Friday night to “crash” after the long work week, and Saturday to catch up on chores and time alone or with family. A leisurely Sunday afternoon date (watching football, going shopping, reading together) with your family member in assisted living is something you both can look forward to.
3. Commit to calling every Wednesday evening. Getting together during the week can be tricky, so make an effort to call and check-in midweek.
4. If travel is not too difficult, bring Mom to your home for dinner. Pick her up on your way home from work, and if you have children who can drive, ask one of them (or your spouse) to take her back while you clean up.