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With over 15 million Americans having to take on caregiving duties for a loved one, today's workforce is vastly changing. We are living longer, which means there are more Americans providing care for an elderly parent. Unfortunately, this often comes at a great cost to the caregiver. There are some obvious financial consequences to becoming a caregiver.

-> Only being able to work part time.
-> An employer who is not empathetic.
-> Inability to accept a promotion that involves more hours and more pay.
-> Inability to take on training that requires travel.

There are some less obvious financial consequences that may not be immediately apparent.

-> Decreased contributions, matching contributions and income in your 401(k).
-> Inability to save money or invest money.
-> Inability to qualify for home improvement loans in order to increase the value of your home.
-> Realistically figure out how many hours you spend on caregiving each week.
-> Work out a budget of what you need for your living expenses.
-> Talk to your family about the impact caregiving will have on your income.

Is anyone able to relieve you for even an hour or two each week? Or perhaps they can pool their resources to pay you as an independent contractor for at least a few hours each week that you provide caregiving.

Talk to your parent's friends and neighbors about the situation. If they can relieve you for simple tasks like helping with running errands, grocery shopping or driving your parent to a doctor's appointment, it will relieve your burden.

If your parent has the funds available, consider hiring an aide for a few hours each week. Often an aide will handle laundry and light cleaning duties in addition to personal care of your parent.

Now you will have an idea of how many hours you can realistically work each week. The next step is to speak with your employer or the Human Resources Department. Be upfront and honest about the situation and how many hours you can work. You may be amazed to know that many businesses are beginning to accept the impact that caregiving has on the workforce. Find out their policy on flex hours. What benefits will you lose by going part time?

If your employer is not cooperative for whatever reason, do not despair. There are plenty of legitimate jobs for part timers, telecommuters and caregivers looking for flexible hours. To find reputable job providers, check out:

In addition to the financial crunch that caregivers experience, there is the factor of the added stress. Juggling caregiving with work and your own home responsibilities can be overwhelming. Stress can have a huge impact on health. It's crucial to the caregiver that they take care of themselves while taking care of their parent. There are some steps a caregiver can take to help relieve stress.

-> Are there any alternatives for someone else to handle some of your own duties at home? For example, ask a neighbor to drive your children to school or pick them up.
-> Join a support group for caregivers. There are many groups that focus on a specific disease like Alzheimer's or cancer. Talking to people who are dealing with the same problems as you will bring great insight and provide tips that you may not have thought of previously.
-> Be prepared for the future. Now is the time to check out the services you may need in the future such as home health care, assisted  living facilities or even hospice. It will be far less stressful to develop a resource list now rather than waiting until it becomes crucial.
-> Use a few minutes of your lunch hour to make necessary phone calls.
-> Above all else, take time for yourself. Whether you take an hour to have lunch with friends or enjoy a relaxing bubble bath, these times will keep you healthy.

Remember the resources available to you. Flex Hour Jobs may be just what you're looking for. Take a look at the possibilities today.


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