On average research suggests that unpaid carers provide approximately 26 hours of care a week, the equivalent of three full working days. Whereas some carers provide 24-hour care or may be balancing full time employment with their caring duties. Carers may find there are not enough hours in the day, and many may feel socially isolated, or may have to reduce their working hours in order to devote their time to the vulnerable individual they support.
It is critical that caregivers can manage their time effectively in order to reduce stress and enhance their own wellbeing. Here are some useful steps to support carers with their time management, which can help reduce the burden.
Balancing out tasks
As carers you may find you are constantly juggling different responsibilities, to find the right balance it is important to:
– Prioritize your tasks
– Schedule when to work on what
– Put everything in a To-Do List
By being organised and aware of the tasks you have to complete, you can allocate yourself sufficient time to complete the tasks, lightening the load.
Taking time for yourself
It is important to remember that taking time to recharge is productive too. As carers there can be a lot to cope with, finding some time for yourself can help increase happiness and reduce stress levels.
Doing something to relax such as going on a nice walk, watching an episode of your favourite TV show, or running a warm bath can be a great way to soothe your mind.
If you are in employment flexible working could help you to balance your work and caring responsibilities. If you have been with your employers for 6 months then you have the right to request flexible working. This could provide more flexible working hours, job sharing or teleworking which may be more suitable to your needs.
Asking for support
Caring for someone can be a lot to handle, remembering it is ok to reach out for help is important. Reach out to your friends and family and see if they can help, by gaining their support you will have more time available to balance out your responsibilities and to focus on yourself.
We at Harrow Carers can offer a dedicated support network to assist you when caring gets challenging and you are unable to find time for yourself. We try to minimise the burden and improve the quality of your life via guidance and support.
By Tabitha Desmond
Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.