A “Help Wanted” ad to find the perfect family caregiver would read something like this:
- Skilled negotiator
- Demonstrates precise bookkeeping and financial-planning skills
- Able to juggle multiple schedules and calendars
- Has reliable car and valid driver’s license
- Able to do heavy lifting
- Offers expertise in home maintenance and repairs
- Understands special diets and meal planning
- Can whip up a healthy meal at a moment’s notice
- Skilled at medication management
- Limitless patience
- Willing to change plans in mid-stream and go with the flow
- Speaks legalese
- Creative activity director
- Offers spiritual guidance when needed
- Willingness to sacrifice personal time and put career plans on hold
- Able to withstand criticism from others
- Can successfully manage feelings of isolation, loneliness, and guilt
- Loves surprises
- On call seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day
- No days off
- No financial compensation
- Accepts that the job may last for decades
Who would take this job? It turns out that there are plenty of us family members who have already said “yes” to taking on the role of family caregiver. We don’t think twice about doing what it takes to care for elder loved ones. We “just do it.”
Knowing that this is the mindset for most of us family caregivers, there are three underlying purposes as why I have chosen to write this blog series (How to Get Paid for Family Caregiving):
- To acknowledge the depth of how much you do in the process of caring for others.
- To investigate the possibility of getting paid for family caregiving.
- To help avert jeopardizing your long-term financial well-being.
In the coming months, I will be offering information about money and family caregiving; but for now, please review the list above once again – and take it all in. Have you really given yourself credit for all that you do?
Continued on How to Get Paid for Family Caregiving: Part Two