Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Financial Strain of Caregiving

One of the big issues for caregivers of the elderly is making a living while providing care. Many family caregivers provide daily services such as transportation to doctors or grocery shopping while maintaining a full time job. As the loved one ages or illness dictates, more and more time is needed for dispensing medications, cleaning & doing laundry, or just companionship. The caregiver may find herself or himself arriving late for work or taking time off for appointments more than "the boss" feels necessary. Wages could be docked for missed time , or worse, termination of the employee.
The long distance caregiver has a different dilemma, but as potentially financially crippling as the local caregiver. Trips to visit the loved one can be costly flying or driving. Once there, the caregiver often pays for overlooked or needed items. If the trip was initiated by a crisis, a fall and hospitalization perhaps, the caregiver may have taken emergency leave to be at the bedside of the loved one. The Family and Medical Leave Act is a good thing but the leave is WITHOUT PAY. Not everyone is covered under this act and not everyone can leave a job for any length of time without pay. (see more on FMLA at )
Caregivers in the workplace as well as those not in the workplace are looking to replace or add to their income. I am one of those caregivers who left the corporate world 5 years ago. I was a long distance caregiver who is now a local caregiver. Flexible time is the only option for me. I have found through starting my own business that it CAN work. As our economy changes, I've been researching legitimate work-at-home options and will have more on that to offer other readers of this blog. I'd love to hear from anyone who can help in my research of things tried or that you know is legitimate for others to make money working from home.

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