The Financial Strain of Caregiving

Caregivers Series Part 3: The Financial Strain of Caregiving

By August 30, 2015Caregiving

Caregiving can be a full-time job resulting in a financial strain as caregivers try to balance caregiving with work. Many take time off, take a leave of absence, or reduce their hours, which affects their income. Others give up working entirely or retire early. The physical and emotional stress of caregiving can also impact their performance at work, resulting in poor performance reviews.


The  self-employed caregivers work fewer hours and are more likely to retire early or give up work entirely. Some caregivers choose to leave their employer and become self-employed in order to have a more flexible work schedule. Regardless if they were already self-employed or chose to become self-employed, the reduced hours impact their income.


Some caregivers are lucky enough to work for employers who understand their situation and offer assistance through flexible work hours, use of paid sick days, telecommuting or even assistance programs. Unfortunately the majority do not have these luxuries. Even if they do, they only have finite number of sick days or limited flexibility in work hours. In addition, working outside of normal business hours or telecommuting can have an effect on performance and visibly within the company, which could lead to poor performance reviews and pass over for promotions.


When making the decision to be a caregiver vs. hiring a home health care professional, some people first think that they are saving money by doing it themselves. They often forget to take into consideration the financial impact of reduced income, higher medical costs due the stress on their health, increased transportation costs and so on. One must consider the financial, health and quality of life impact before embarking on being a caregiver.

Next in the series:  You Are Not Alone

Source:  Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 – Executive Summary