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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Petropoulos

Caregiving and Career Demands: How Is Your Life Being Impacted?

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

Highly successful leaders persist in the face of setbacks and adversities. They are resilient and they make self-care a priority. These are just a few of the Top 20 Habits of Highly Successful Leaders Who Thrive.

But what happens when the daily stresses of caring for an aging parent or the special needs of a family member become increasingly challenging?

The Impact of Balancing Caregiving and Career Demands

Personal and professional sacrifices often become necessary. And, when caregiving becomes physically and emotionally demanding, many leaders cut back their working hours, take a leave of absence, or retire early to take care of an elderly relative or family member. Read more about The Economic Impact of Supporting Working Family Caregivers (

Finding the right resources to support an elderly relative or family member’s needs can become a full-time responsibility. And when the type and quality of care needed results in financial burdens, it often becomes even more difficult.

For many professionals in their 40s to 60s, providing support has become a constant in their lives. They are trying to balance their own needs while helping their parents or family members.

That strain can take its toll on the emotional, social, physical and mental health of caregivers, which in turn can impact their professional lives. According to a MetLife Study, caregivers are more likely to show increases in poor health and significantly higher rates of hypertension, heart disease, and depression in comparison to non-caregivers.

If you’re feeling the overwhelm and pressure of care coordination, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than one in five Americans are caregivers.

Many of the executives I coach are struggling with balancing career demands with the special caregiving needs for their aging parents or family members.

They are feeling stressed, burned out, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Taking care of an elderly parent or family member can be a time consuming and sometimes burdening responsibility. It can even lead to feelings of resentment.

Being in a constant state of overwhelm can create intense emotions. Those emotions can be difficult to manage and can affect our ability to think and act rationally. Read more about How to Shift Your Mindset when you're in an an emotional spiral.

If the daily stress of caregiving responsibilities is negatively impacting you, it’s time to focus on proactive steps you can take to reduce the overwhelm.

Proactive Steps to Reduce Caregiving Overwhelm

One True You, LLC coaching helps leaders gain an awareness of what they can do for themselves and their family members to address caregiving challenges.

We address ways to plan ahead, clarify care needs, and identify resources that can provide support.

We work together to identify the options that are available and develop an actionable plan to best support both career and caregiving needs.

One True You, LLC coaching helps professionals navigate the difficult decisions that need to be made and ensure a plan is in place to support the needs.

Remember, you don’t have to help your loved ones all by yourself or wait until health needs escalate into a crisis.

Sharing a few insights that One True You, LLC clients have found helpful:

  • Gain Professional Support

Consult with a life coach you trust to help navigate your caregiving challenges.

The leadership and life coaching services I provide to senior leaders nearing retirement, helps them to create actionable plans to best support their self-care and career needs while exploring the options and resources available for their parents care or a family member’s needs.

  • Talk with Friends

Reach out to friends who’ve experienced the same or similar challenges with their parents or family members.

  • Establish Boundaries

The work-life challenges of caregiving are impactful. As a result of the Pandemic, work and life have become more integrated. But with that integration, we've lost the structure in our daily lives that helps us segregate the professional from the personal.

Establishing boundaries allows us to refocus on our priorities, better balance work and life, and regain control.

  • Proactively Plan

Leadership and Life Coaching can provide ways to help you learn how to more proactively manage your challenges so you can better navigate the overwhelm caused by juggling career commitments and caregiving.

Proactive planning can make a significant difference. This becomes especially important, if you’re handling caregiving needs alone.

A professional life coach can serve as a sounding board and help you find ways to integrate the needs of caregiving, without feeling exhausted by constantly struggling to maintain the energy to support career and caregiving needs.

Take the first step. Let's talk about the help you need. Schedule a complimentary Clarity Call to talk about your needs. Select a date and time from the calendar that’s best for you.

About the Author:

Debbie Petropoulos is a Transformational Career and Life Coach and Owner of One True You, LLC. Debbie knows how impactful caregiving can be. She retired early from her corporate leadership role at AbbVie to manage the intergenerational and special care needs for her family. Debbie founded One True You, LLC to help guide professionals through their leadership and life transition challenges. Read more about the professionals Debbie works with, their challenges, and their personal stories of successful outcomes.


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