In absence of any formal support system, those of us with experience caring for our aging parents must mentor employees with mothers and fathers.
By Liz O’Donnell, Author, Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman and founder of WorkingDaughter.com (reposted from WBUR)
As a working mother I appreciate the many articles offering advice for women trying to balance career and childcare, including Alyson Gounden Rock’s “The Truth About Working Mothers.” But as a working daughter, a woman trying to juggle career and eldercare, I wonder why we are always and only talking about the impact of motherhood on a woman’s career and earning potential. Millions of women in this country are caring for an aging parent or parents and for many, it’s not going so well. Where is the advice and support for them?
According to the AARP there are currently 44 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States, the majority of whom are women. The average caregiver is someone like me — a woman in her late 40s with a living parent or parents age 65 or older, and at least one dependent child. And like me, she most likely struggles to fit eldercare, work and life into a 24-hour day. Nearly 70 percent of caregivers experience work-related difficulties as a result of their caregiving responsibilities; they switch to less demanding jobs, reduce their hours, or quit. They often suffer loss of wages and risk losing up to $300,000 in job-related benefits. Read the rest of Liz’s article HERE.
Liz O’Donnell is a working daughter and working mother living “in the sandwich” and committed to helping other women as they balance their many roles in life. A recognized expert on balancing eldercare and career, Liz has written about the issue in The Atlantic, Time, and Next Avenue.
Liz is also the author of the book Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman. In 2009, she started the blog HelloLadies.com which she ran until 2015 and was named a top 100 website for women by Forbes. Her new website providing support and information to those caring for elderly parents is WorkingDaughter.com. For more information on elder care and to connect with Liz, email her at email@example.com. This article originally appeared on WBUR.org and was reposted with permission.