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Publication #FAR6007

Working and Caregiving1

Patricia Bartlett and Suzanna Smith2

You've been at your job for eight years, and it looks like that promotion may come your way soon. But you're worried that your caregiving duties for your parents are taking more and more time.

You're worried about how caregiving is affecting your performance at work. Last week you left work early twice, and this week you came in late. But you can't afford to leave your job. As you struggle to balance the demands of working and caregiving of your parents, you wonder if you're the only one doing this.

Take heart. A study conducted by AARP reveals that nearly 22 million American workers are caregivers for their parents or other elderly family members (American Association of Retired Persons, n.d).

Some workers find the demands of taking care of their loved ones and working at the same time are too great, and they give up their paying job. Others, fearing for their job security, are reluctant to tell their supervisors about their caregiving responsibilities.

But many employers are willing to help. They may be able to refer you to community programs for respite care, legal assistance, or case management. A few employers offer financial help for adult day care, paid leave for caregiver activities, job sharing, or flex time. The Family Medical Leave Act gives eligible workers unpaid leave for family caregiving without loss of job security. You'll need to check into any restrictions that may apply to you, such as the size of the company and how long you've worked there. Don't be afraid to ask… you may find the help you need for the balance you're seeking.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:


American Association of Retired Persons. (n.d.) Balancing work and caregiving. Retrieved May 11, 2007, from



This document is FAR6007, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 061 and published December 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Patricia Bartlett, staff writer, and Suzanna Smith, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, and Executive Producer, Family Album Radio, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.