Caregiver Work/Life Balance

Contributed by: Sandra Adams, CFP® Sandy Adams


According to the AARP, of the over 40 million Americans acting as a caregiver for a loved one over the age of 50, 6 in 10 of them are doing so while still trying to earn a living. As we have written about previously, caregiving can take a tremendous financial toll on family members and can cause real issues with caregivers’ own retirement planning. In talking to caregiver clients, it’s not just the financial implications of being a working caregiver that become the biggest’s the overall impact on one’s life.

How can a working caregiver have a balanced life with so many roles and responsibilities? 

  1. Take advantage of any paid caregiver time off or flexibility that you may have with your job.  Make sure you have open and honest conversations with your employer about what is going on in your life and your caregiving duties so that they can help you make your job and caregiver duties work for you.
  2. Seek out community resources and information that will help connect you with needed services - you don’t have to do it all alone!  Agencies, community and faith-based are available to help you meet your loved one’s needs and allow you to continue to have a career.
  3. Seek the help of professionals that you can delegate responsibilities for financial planning, investments, bill paying, taxes, care management, etc.
  4. Determine your eligibility for various programs that could give you more support and receive all the benefits to which your loved one is entitled at
  5. Keep yourself organized. Coordinate and organize your time, activities and paperwork.  Find a system that works for you (paper, electronic, etc.).  i.e., schedule appointments all on the same day, at the end or beginning of days to make things work better with your work and family schedule.
  6. Find time for yourself.  As a caregiver, if you don’t have time to enjoy time for yourself and de-stress, things will only become more chaotic, stressful and out-of-balance.  Find our Working Caregiver Bill of Rights here.  After all, if you aren’t taken care of, you can’t take care of the one you love!

As impossible as it often seems, there is a way to have some balance in your life if you are a working caregiver.  It takes careful planning, organization, communication, and use of resources.  If you are a working caregiver and would like assistance in planning for your balanced life, give us a call.  We are always happy to help!

Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.

Opinions expressed are those of Sandra Adams and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.