5 Work-from-Home Jobs for Caregivers


Lydia Chang has always thought of her husband’s father as her own. When a cancer diagnosis forced him to sell his business and meant that he needed a caregiver, she volunteered to help.

A few decades ago, a person in Chang’s position would have had to quit working altogether in order to look after their loved one. However, the proliferation of the internet and mobile technology has enabled millions to “telecommute” or work from a location other than a centralized office (typically the home).

Fortunately, Chang found a solution that enabled her to care for her father-in-law and remain in the workforce. She has been telecommuting for over a decade as a freelance customer service agent for Arise Virtual Solutions, a company that provides outsourced contact center services for major corporations.

The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting

For family caregivers, telecommuting can offer some serious advantages. Flexibility is one of the primary benefits of remote working, according to Carlos Soto, director of sourcing for Arise. He also cites the time and money that can be saved by not having to get dressed up and commute to work every day as added advantages.

Time and money are two things caregivers often have in short supply, so a job that enables them to have more of both is a definite win-win.

“It’s the best choice,” Chang says of telecommuting. “Working from home allows you the flexibility to schedule your time around your loved one’s needs.”

Telecommuters also don’t have to worry about dipping into their sick days or paid time off in order to ferry a loved one to and from doctor’s appointments and rehabilitation sessions, and they don’t have to worry about how to talk to their boss about caregiving.

The biggest benefit for Chang? “Having the ability to spend quality time with my father-in-law.”

However, there are challenges that come with working from home while caregiving. It’s imperative that a caregiver is able to set aside time that is free from distraction—a difficult thing to do when a care recipient has dementia or needs help on an almost constant basis.

Chang says it can be tricky, even with the inherent flexibility of telecommuting, to make sure her schedule accommodates everything she needs to accomplish during the day. Self-discipline and thorough organizational techniques help her manage her time and priorities effectively.

She must also make efforts to prevent the challenges of caregiving from negatively influencing her work performance. “I have to be careful not to let caregiving affect my ability to stay upbeat, cheery and fully focused on the clients,” she says.

5 Work-from-Home Jobs for Caregivers

There’s practically no limit on what kinds of jobs offer work-from-home options. Before starting your search, it’s best to pinpoint your strengths and interests so you can find a job that aligns well with them.

Here are five examples of jobs you can do from home:

  1. Freelance writer, editor, artist, etc. A freelancer is typically a self-employed professional who isn’t bound to work for one particular company over an extended period. Freelancing allows you the freedom to choose which short-term jobs and projects you’re willing and able to take on. Numerous online directories post freelance jobs, and Elance.com is one such resource that has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  2. Online tutor. If you have a background in teaching or you just enjoy helping other people learn, taking a job as a virtual tutor could be a good fit. Websites such as TutorMe (BBB Accredited with an A+ rating) offer tutoring options for grade school kids all the way up to young adults who need help with college-level courses.
  3. Translator. Are you bilingual? International companies often jump at the chance to have their written materials translated into multiple languages. Web directories for freelance work typically include a section for online translation job postings.
  4. Online shop owner. If you’re an artist, craftsperson or designer who’s always wanted to open up your own store, look no further than the internet. Sites such as Etsy and Ebay (both of which are BBB Accredited with an A+ rating) offer the opportunity to sell your wares online. Etsy is an online marketplace that allows virtual storeowners to sell handmade crafts and vintage items, whereas Ebay is more of a catch-all online marketplace. These sites typically charge users a small fee to set up shop and post their products, or take a percentage of a product’s eventual selling price.
  5. Customer service representative. In addition to working with companies such as Arise, you can also seek out opportunities with individual corporations to provide remote customer service and technical help.

Be Savvy about Online Employment Opportunities

You should always exercise caution when seeking work-at-home employment opportunities. The telecommuting world is rife with scammers seeking to obtain access to unsuspecting job hunters’ personal and financial information.

Be wary of any company that promises you’ll “get rich quick” by working for them part-time. Companies that require significant amounts of unpaid training or ask you to spend money to apply for a position should also be considered untrustworthy.

Even if an offer seems legitimate, it may not be. A site or email may seem trustworthy, but it could be the work of “phishers”—scammers who attempt to gain personal information by imitating a legitimate person or organization. Fraudulent websites that mimic those of authentic companies try to convince job hunters to fork over sensitive personal information like their Social Security numbers by claiming to have job offers.

It can be difficult to spot a fake job post. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers a few tips for keeping yourself safe while searching for work online:

  • Consult your local consumer protection offices and the BBB to double-check a potential employer’s legitimacy.
  • Remember, authentic employers will never ask for money up front or bank account information so they can “direct deposit your paycheck” before your first official day of work.
  • As always, the best rule of thumb is to avoid giving out personal information over the Internet unless there is no doubt that the job offer is coming from a trustworthy source.
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I am a work at home freelancer and take care of my mother. My niche is dealing with dealing with spreadsheets, database cleanup and other not-so-glamorous tasks that while boring to perform are absolutely necessary for certain businesses. Over the past few years doing this work, I have amassed a record of several hundred completed jobs (over 350 on one site alone) doing everything from cleaning million record databases to hand typing in recipes from scraps of paper to scanning travel brochures.

This article touches on some good topics, particularly the issues of exercising caution when accepting jobs. The WAH (work at home) world has numerous pitfalls and traps that, while on the surface seem inconsequential, can be maddening to the WAH worker and in the end, cost you more money than the job is worth.

And no, I am not a rich man because I do the WAH routine. In fact, I make far less than what I would had I worked for a company for 30 years with all the benefits that go along with that. As a person with a computer background, I fortunately have the skills to do a variety of jobs and am not concerned about a job that one may think is beneath me. The point of doing this is to create a way to allow me to assist my family (my 80+ y/o mother specifically). What I do is far less important than why I do it.

I would love to see further discussion on this topic.

I have worked at home for a number of years (not for caregiving but other purposes) and have decreased my workload after the birth of my daughter. I had one year that I worked at home and made more than when working out, but I had to keep 4 work at home jobs going at once. I feel I worked longer hours and was "always on call" when I was at home. Even though I had a seperate phone/fax line, I would have people hit call rerturn or my boss call and boom instructions to me for things to take care of (I had a seperate office room in my house on a different floor).
Unless you are selling higher price items, etsy will not make you much money. Remember, places like etsy, ebay and other companies take a commission.
I also did freelance writing. Many of the jobs I took was when I was supplementing my income and required that I go on location to review plays, cover articles of a specific interest to the publication I was working for and while this is an excellent source of either free passes or a little extra money, it is not the idea circumstance for someone needing to stay at home with someone needing caregiving. If you want to look into freelancing, check with publications that will accept your work on various topics because it is your area of expertise or they will let you research/interview people via skype/email or phone.
Remember if you want to pay into social security, you will need to do that yourself because you do not have an employer taking that out of your check. Taxes are also your responsibility as well as a possible revenue commission tax if your area has that (for self-employed/business owners). You need to keep a list of expenses, the size of your office/workspace, phone bill, water bill, heating bill, etc.
Also, be aware that if you are working from home, you may not be working full time. If that is the case and you need to apply for disability yourself, it could count against you because of the number of quarters required and how long it has been since you worked full time.
There are also more expenses than people count on depending on what kind of work you do. I worked as a freelance writer and customer service. At that point in time I needed a computer, seperate phone line, and ended up getting a fax/printer/copy machine as well as costs for paper, toner, postage, etc. One company I worked for let me have a petty cash fund and paid for my extra phone bill. Just do your research first because working from home sounds sweet but remember, you are never, ever away from the office. Ever.
I'm an artist. Etsy did nothing for me. The reason? You have to spend a lot of time marketing. When caregiving is already sapping your strength and creativity, marketing becomes even more iffy.

I also have a Masters degree in astrophysics. For many years I was an adjunct university professor. This, too was curtailed when my mother needed more of my time.

These suggestions have a much better chance of working out when caregiving is in the early stages. Later on, you find yourself needing to pull back.

Now that my mother has recently passed, I find myself apparently unemployable and few people are buying art right now. But I am now in a position where my experience and knowledge can help others, so I have started a new business of Denentia Care Consultant.