Caring for an aging loved one requires care, compassion, and plenty of time beyond paid work.
The stark reality for the majority of family caregivers in the U.S. is that they care for an older relative who is aged, disabled, or seriously ill on top of paid employment. AARP’s new report: The Dual Pressures of Family Caregiving and Employment uses 2015 data to show that 60% of family caregivers also worked at a paying job (on average of 34.7 hours per week) at some point in 2014, while maintaining their caregiving responsibilities—one in four family caregivers said they provide 21 or more hours of unpaid care each week.
Between frequent hospitalizations, a lack of community support, and the financial costs of daily care needs, family caregivers experience a variety of burdens. And in the balancing act between caregiving responsibilities and work, caregivers experience even greater stress. More than one-third of those surveyed reported that they consider the experience to be highly stressful emotionally.
Traci Dobronravova, Director of Seniors At Home, agrees with the report, saying, “Seniors at Home sees many family caregivers who had not anticipated their role of caregiver, and find it really challenging to manage it with other aspects of their lives, including job pressures.”
Caregiving often requires taking time out of work periodically or special work accommodations. The report states that nearly 50% of employed family caregivers say that they must go in late, leave early, or take time off from their job in order to care for their loved one. Caregivers who don’t receive support from their workplace and their community have also had to give up paid work entirely, placing additional financial burdens on themselves and their family members.
There is hope. Accessing local services can relieve some of the pressure to overburdened working caregivers. Seniors At Home offers a wide range of support for family caregivers including educational seminars, counseling and support groups, and caregiver respite services.
Traci says, “Caregivers often need practical and emotional support and to take the time to care for themselves. We are here to provide support, especially for those who struggle to find it in the broader community.”
If you or someone you know is struggling to balance work with caring for a loved one, call 415-449-3777 to find out how Seniors at Home can help.