A recent article in Forbes stated that the average caregiver today is a midlife woman who already earns less on average than her male counterparts. The article, titled "Is Caring For Aging Parents Unfair to Women?," goes on to say that remarkably less than half of workers are able to hold onto their jobs during the period of caregiving. If she's saving up for retirement and must quit, she will lose out on the benefits of working until retirement age, which will greatly impact her own future.
More than a third of those surveyed in the Forbes piece said their work situation was affected by caregiving—either because they had to quit outright, retire early, reduce work hours, or take a leave of absence. Another 37% of those studied weren’t employed, which enabled them to function as caregivers, as much as full time.
In my family, the caregiver for my mother is my older sister. My mom suffers from advanced dementia and is not able to speak, walk, or even get out of a chair. My mother requires constant care which my sister provides in addition to holding a full-time job. There is in-home care while my sister is at work, then she cares for my mom on her own when she returns home from work.
Mother’s Day is a good reminder to acknowledge and thank the many other caregivers who may often be taken for granted. MJ – Thank you!
Reference: Forbes (May 9, 2013) "Is Caring For Aging Parents Unfair to Women?"