You know, Alan, something that Gillian and I have been struggling with is our job situation. Caregiving takes a lot of time, and we’re not really in a financial position to have just one income. So far we’ve been able to make it work with our employers – me working from home, Gillian exhausting her paid time off – but obviously, this isn’t a long-term solution. Especially once Reid is able to come home.
Scott, this is a common concern for caregivers. And the truth is, there may be no perfect solution, but there are things you can do. First, as a caregiver of a seriously injured active duty service member, there may be a number of resources available to you. You can check out Military OneSource for information on military caregiver resources, and talk to your son’s case manager. Now if Reid is discharged from the military, you may be eligible for a number of services through the Veterans Affairs Caregiver Support Program.
In the meantime, have you both discussed your caregiving responsibilities and your need for flexibility with your bosses?
Scott has, but I haven’t. I mean, my boss knows that I’ve taken the past several weeks of paid time off because my son was in a serious accident, but I haven’t had a conversation with her about what the future holds. They‘re expecting me back in the office on Monday, which is fine for now, but like Scott said, once Reid is ready to come home…
I understand. It would probably make sense for you to review and understand what all of your options are before then. For instance, if your company has an Employee Assistance Program, they may be able to offer you counseling, legal assistance, and resource referrals. You may also want to think about looking into part-time work or flex-time options if you don’t feel able to work full time because of your caregiving duties. Maybe not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. I would also check with your HR department about your eligibility for unpaid leave and your company’s caregiver leave policies. You can find more information on employment and benefits, including information on the Family and Medical Leave Act, in your Guide for Caregivers.
Thank you, Alan.