Choosing to care for your elderly parents is an admirable decision. Whether you welcome them into your home or support them from afar as they age in place, becoming a carer can take a lot of time and effort.

While we would prefer to believe our parents will be able to perform certain tasks and duties themselves, it is likely that they will become more dependent as they age.

Unfortunately, this can often lead to you dedicating an increasing amount of time to their care. The number of hours and the amount of energy you spend looking after your elderly parents may begin to impact on other aspects of your life.

Add your own kids into the mix and it's difficult to find any time for yourself, let alone your employer!

For instance, you may be required to leave work in the middle of the day to drive your mother to a hospital appointment. Not only does this make it harder for you to get the same level of work done each day, but can also strain relations with your employer.

The more time you have to take off, the smaller your paycheck could be at the end of each month. While you may be surviving comfortably on your current salary, could you continue to support yourself and your parents on a part-time wage?

Fortunately, there are a few options you could consider to help protect your work-life balance while caring for your senior parents.

Consider retirement options

If it becomes too difficult to look after you parents in your home or from afar, consider moving them into the supportive Newcastle retirement residence at Sugar Valley.

Find out what help is available

There are a number of networks and agencies designed to support in-home carers, including meal deliveries and mobile nursing units. Engaging one of these services can help take some of the burden off yourself, ensuring your time with your parents is happy and stress-free.

Ask your employer about flexible employment

Depending on your occupation, it may be possible to telecommute to work – meaning you can stay at home while still getting your work done. Alternatively, your employer may agree with changing your hours, so you are available during the day when your parents need you.

When caring for a parent impacts on your career