Chicago Tribune

by Jane Bennett Clarke / January 12, 2016

Over a recent 12-month period, more than 43 million adults provided care for a vulnerable family member or friend, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute. Such caregivers usually provide free care, often sacrificing their own financial security in the process.

Your ability to successfully juggle caregiving and a day job could depend on your boss. A 2014 survey conducted for the Families and Work Institute shows that half of those who left their jobs to provide elder care did so because their employers weren’t flexible enough to accommodate their dual responsibilities — say, by letting them telecommute or work an earlier or later shift. For their part, employees are reluctant to raise an issue that might be perceived as affecting their work performance, says Ken Matos, senior director of research at the institute.

If your company has no such program and you need to ask for flexibility, frame it in a problem-solving way, says Matos: “Approach your employer not by saying ‘I’m not meeting goals’ but ‘I’m planning ahead to meet my goals.’ ”


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