One of the hardest part-time jobs you will ever have -- and the pay? Nada
Imagine working twenty hours a week at a part-time job for five years -- and never getting paid. That's the average amount of time a long-term health care caregiver volunteers to care for a parent, spouse, family member or friend. This figure is even more startling because chances are, a lot of us will be a caregiver at some point in our lives -- 40 percent of all women 18 or older and 37 percent of all men 18 or older provide care for someone. It can be as simple as driving to the grocery store and helping clean the house, or as extensive as helping with daily bathing and eating. On average, a long-term health care caregiver is a 49 year-old woman caring for her widowed mother.
Why does this matter? The AARP has found that a caregiver 50 years old or older who leaves the workforce to look after a parent forgoes, on average, $304,000 in lost salary and benefits over their lifetime. These estimates range from $283,716 for men to $324,044 for women. Being a caregiver can hurt women especially hard. Besides a higher amount in lost income as compared to men, women who are family caregivers are 2.5 times more likely than non-caregivers to live in poverty and five times more likely to receive Supplemental Security Income. And 20 percent of employed women caregivers over 50 years old report symptoms of depression, compared to 8 percent of their non-caregiving peers.
Lost productivity and time off costs businesses an estimated $33.6 billion a year; a full-time working caregiver costs his or her company a yearly average of $2,110.20.