Do not give up your job to become a caregiver.

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I think we need this discussion thread as a permanent, ongoing topic. Too many folks come here with the question " how do I get paid..."

I think folks need to understand that as a general rule, this is a terrible idea. I think it's Garden Artist and Freqflyer who have the stats on what is lost in terms of retirement. We need folks to weigh in on " no, it's not the same as staying home with a 3 year old".


Babalou, here is my stat on the financial cost lost.

Here are some things to think about if one is trying to decide whether to quit work to care for an aging parent.... on average if a working person quits work he/she will lose over the years between $285,000 and $325,000 which includes not only loss of salary over those years... it also includes the net worth loss of the health insurance coverage.... loss of money being put into Social Security/Medicare..... loss of other benefits such as matching 401(k).... profit sharing.... workman's comp insurance.... company sponsored life insurance.... vacation pay, sick pay.... tuition assistance, etc. [source: in part Reuters 5/30/12]

Babalou, also the one thing I have noticed is that whenever we give information about the slim chances of being paid, there is always a handful of people who come onto the thread asking if they can be paid.... it's like doesn't anyone read the thread first before they ask?
I suspect that some of the posters who want to get paid aren't working and have nominal if any work skills, but see caregiving as a means of getting some money that for whatever reason they don't want to or can't earn by normal means. Some people just don't have work ethics, so this might be a way to earn some money without going through a normal interviewing and vetting process.

For those who are employable and do make the sacrifice, the losses go well beyond financial. They include the loss of camaraderie, professional affiliations and interactions, satisfaction of jobs well done and of being employable, and of course the biweekly reward that generally goes into one's checking account as well as annual bonuses and raises.

In addition, there are only a few jobs at which I've worked that were really difficult, but nont that required the emotional strain required of caregiving. Caregivers also tolerate a lot more verbal abuse, pressure, work outside of a job description which for all practical purposes is nondescript and expandable, and of course get no medical benefits despite being in high risk situations.

Maybe we should just keep referring the posters who want to get paid to the litany of other posts that have already posed the same question.
I should add also that I've found that my analytical skills have deteriorated significantly and it's a battle to keep those skills current and usable.
I didn't give up my job to b a Caregiver but I am now to both parents. I am on disability myself and you lose soooo muuucch when you can't work regular job. THE health insurance, retirement and $ are just few things and all things mentioned in above text. I totally agree. Prayerfully I get to the point health wise, strategically where I can go back to work bcuz caregiving is expensive.
To the regular posters:

I'm adding this post to my caregiving database and from now on (if I remember), I'll reference it whenever someone asks about (a) getting paid by "the government" to stay home and be a caregiver, or (b) quitting a paying job to stay home and be a caregiver.

The next time someone complains about being a shut-in, stay at home caregiver, I'll add that link as well.

Babalou's idea to start this post was a good one; let's keep it going. I think newcomers may not even realize there's a search function with similar posts having been made.
I started caregiving three years ago, gave up a job making 150k with 100% of my heath insurance paid. I also had my son and my cell phones paid for by the company, a clothing allowance, access to suites to Lions and Tiger games and a company car. For about six months, my exboyfriends mother approved us to be paid by waiver 12 hours a week at $10 an hour....that paid for her and her husbands food.

Caring for the elderly is not like caring for a three year old. Children have not had independence yet, so no means no and there isnt the constant drama and bs. Also, the mental and verbal abuse you encounter is horrible. You will also have physical changes. For me it was extreme weightloss and constant exhaustion.

I walked away completely last week, no guilt. I am lucky because I kept in contact with my former boss and did projects for him while cargiving so it was easier for me to get my life back than it is for others. I would suggest anyone who considers giving up their life for caregiving reconsider.
WOW!!! that was drastic. At least you went back.I have been taking care parents for 2 1/2 year with my health issues. I couldn't work due to health issues had to go on disability. I am exhausted now. I need to go to work, but I haven't worked regular job 3 years. I have bad back problems,migraines but been thinking bout starting part time job working toward full time because I can't afford live like this anymore. I gotta save $ 4 future, savings account, emergency fund, retirement fund.Not sure what parents gonna do but I gotta make some changes. I moved back with 2 1/2 years ago. Gotta talk to parents and siblings and come up PLAN when go back work. My monthly income is just enough live on. not working 4 me.
I think what happens in many cases that the grown child resigns from their full-time job to care for their parent(s) thinking this will be a short-term deal. Next thing they know those 3 months turn into one year and one year turns into 5 or 10 in some cases. That's a lot of income to lose.

Of course we as caregivers never think of doing a 90-days plan, or 1-year plan. Wish journalist would print more stories about caring for one's parent or even a spouse and what happens when the grown child or remaining spouse has very little income to fall back on.

Today technology gets away from us... thank goodness a person who knew me from the past, who said years ago that some day I will be working for him, did call. We were both senior citizens trying to stick our big toe into current technology.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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