Nearly 1 in 8 adults in the United States care for an aging parent and support their own children. These "sandwich generation" caregivers are also present in other Western countries, with 1 in 25 adults in the United Kingdom juggling childcare and taking care of an older or sick parent.
Caregiver burnout is a very real hazard that contrasts the rewarding moments of taking care of loved ones. It's a state of extreme exhaustion - emotional, mental, and physical.
Having enough time in the day is one of the many challenges of caregiving, especially if you're employed. Here's 3 tips to balance the financial responsibility of caregiving without contributing to even more stress.
look for remote work
Working from home, means less time spent commuting and in time-wasting meetings on site. Remote positions typically offer flexibility, optimizing the financial pay-off of a job with your caregiving responsibilities, even when something unexpected pops up.
The Internet makes it easy to match people like you, with useful skills, with positions that suit your schedule and responsibilities.
Check out regular job sites, like Indeed and Zip Recruiter, as well as remote-focused sites, like Remote.co. You can find great articles online like this one - How to Work as a Virtual Assistant - from FlexJobs or from Airtasker. For freelance writing, check out Upwork, or this article on how to break in to the freelance writing scene.
get paid for caregiving
You can find out if you're eligible for a place on a consumer directed personal assistance program. These programs provide full income to those providing caregiving services for family members (excluding spouses).
talk with your boss
If you've been at your current position for a while, your manager or boss is likely aware of your caregiving responsibilities, particularly if you've already needed to take leave to balance your two positions.
However, you may be able to find a more reliable long-term solution by addressing the topic directly with them. Changes in your schedule, allowing for more work to be done at home, and other concessions from your employer may help you manage the workload. If they are unable or unwilling to accommodate you in any way, then it might time to think about whether the stress of the job is worth it.
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