The responsibility of caring for the aging parent often falls on the shoulders of children. According to stats, approximately 34.2 million Americans have provided unpaid care to an adult aged 50 or above in the last 12 months. Because your aging parents face many challenges and have to battle through physical and mental difficulties on a daily basis, it is imperative that someone stays by their side and looks after them. Unfortunately, depending on the severity of their health, you may have to leave your job and compromise on your earnings to care for your parents.
However, because taking care of the elderly, especially those who have dementia, Alzheimer’s or other progressive disease requires a lot of medicine and rehabilitation, you’ll need a source of steady income even if you can’t go outside to work. Thankfully, the internet has made it possible for people all around the world to find jobs that they can do online and earn a modest salary by month’s end.
These home-based jobs are ideal for children who’re looking after their elderly parents because it helps them stay at home while earning a living. Though there are many home-based jobs you can try, the ones we’re going to be talking about here are most lucrative and will keep you and your family going without much hassle.
Challenges faced by caregivers
However, before we start discussing the home-based jobs that you can do while taking care of your parent, let’s look at some of the challenges you face when doing it.
One of the first things you’ll note when you’re caring for an elderly parent is the feeling of isolation. This is true if one or both of your parents have a disease where mental degradation is inevitable. Statistics reveal that 40%-70% caregivers experience severe clinical depression because they feel isolated and lonely when they are responsible for the daily activities of their parents. Because these individuals give both their time and effort to care for their parents to the best of their abilities, they often don’t get the chance to go outside and have a good time with friends or other family members.
Solution: The best way to battle through phases of social isolation or depression is to make sure that you make it a point to interact with others in your life. Hire a nurse or trust someone you know with the responsibility so you can go out, take a break and have a good time.
Another difficulty that caregivers experience is poor health. Because they are busy in caring for the elderly, they forget to pay attention to themselves and fall sick more often as a result. Caretakers also ignore health issues even when they do come up. Other than mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, caregivers also face several physical alignments such as headaches, acid reflux, high blood pressure, and are even at increased risk for heart diseases. So, it is not mere speculation that caring for the elderly does result in poor health for caregivers because they end up setting their symptoms aside.
Solution: Even though it is your responsibility to care for your parent, you shouldn’t let that interfere with your health. Make sure to visit a general physician or your family doctor to talk to him about any physical or mental issues you may be facing and try to get into therapy with a professional even if you don’t think it is necessary. The reason for this suggestion is because while caring for a challenged patient may not seem like a big deal, in the beginning; it will take a toll on your health sooner or later. This is why you must be careful not to ignore any symptoms and get them checked out as soon as possible.
Finally, though there are a lot of other problems that caregivers experience, one of the most prominent ones is low self-care or self-esteem. Much like they ignore physical and mental health, caregivers think that giving time to themselves will mean that they are somehow skimping on their responsibilities. However, the truth is that unless you take time to care for yourself and your needs, you won’t be able to give due attention to your parent. If you don’t spend time eating right, exercising and doing the things you love, you will be putting yourself into a never-ending cycle of despair which will be difficult to get out of.
Solution: Take out an hour or two from your hectic schedule and do something you love. Read a book or draw yourself a bath and vow to relax for the allotted time. Though you may find it a little difficult to disconnect at first, remember that it is the best thing you can do even for your parent.
Home-based earning opportunities
Now that you know about the challenges of a caretaker, let’s discuss the jobs you can do from home, so you remain sane and happy throughout the time.
So, without delaying things any further, let’s discuss the five home based jobs that you can do.
Freelancing is one of the greatest and most straightforward forms of self-employment you will come across. A study by Intuit estimated that by 2020, 40% of the American workforce would compromise of freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees. Everyone from writers and editors to graphic designers and programmers has an opportunity to work from home through freelance, and all you’ll need to do is to meet the client’s needs and deadlines, just as you would do with your employer. Some great websites for finding authentic freelance work are Upwork, Freelancer, and Flexjobs.
The most significant advantage of working as a freelancer is that you get to be your own boss, set your own schedules and priorities and work accordingly. When you’re taking care of someone who is going through dementia progression, then this flexibility in timing will assist you in managing both your job as well as your home appropriately. Alternatively, you can also ask your current employer to consider a position when you don’t have to commute to and from work every day but can be provided with work at home because of unique circumstances.
Another great opportunity that you could try is to start your own business. Contrary to common belief, a small business doesn’t require a lot of capital, especially if you already have the material that’s needed. For instance, if you’ve always been good with crafts, start a business and sell hand-made stuff which has quite a market in the outside world. You can even make quilts and sell those at an Etsy store, but make sure that they have the quality customers are looking for, or you will end up damaging your reputation.
If crafts aren’t your forte, you can also give blogging or online businesses a try because given time, these can be lucrative as well. However, if you’re thinking for diving into blogging or online writing as a career, you need to remember that the competition out there is tough and you’ll need to give it all you have. Instead of creating a blog that doesn’t provide a lot of quality information, focus on 2-3 topics that you are an expert in and start writing about them.
Similar to blogging is vlogging, which is when you create videos, post them on YouTube or other channels and make money from it. Remember that though both these types of jobs will provide you with a decent amount of earnings, it may take you some time to build your reputation in the online world. This is why it is best if you have enough savings to last you and your parents for at least 3-6 months, so you don’t have to depend on outside sources.
People who are good at interpersonal relationships and know how to talk to people can think about having a career in customer services. There’s quite a market for customer representatives mainly because the number of the website is increasing at an exponential rate and most developers are aware that they need to hire representatives who can answer client questions and queries. Though you will need to get some basic training to know the ins and outs of the particular business, you can start working as a representative as soon as you’re given the heads up.
One thing which you must bear in mind if you want to become a customer service representative is that you may be asked to work during a specific time. Because visitors will be likelier to browse the website in the morning or evening, depending on the type of business, you’ll be allotted a shift during which you will need to have a reliable internet connection so you can stay connected. Moreover, your employer may also ask you to have telephonic conversations with the clients so you will also need to have a landline or another source where you can speak to the customers.
Having an elderly parent to take care of won’t just demand your time and effort, but your patience too. However, you need to remember that if you find a home-based job which offers financial consistency, you must grab it while it lasts. One such position which you can consider especially if you’re an experienced teacher or if you have a knack for teaching is online tutoring. There are plenty of sources that hire a virtual teacher of different levels so they can teach children from all over the world. One benefit of becoming an online tutor is that you may even get to meet international students who you can learn a thing or two from.
Before signing up with any website like TutorMe, make sure that they are authentic and have the necessary credentials, so you can be sure that they will pay you at the end of each month. Know that you’ll need to brush up on your theories before you start teaching so you can be sure that what you’re coaching is on par with what the school or college is teaching.
Have you wanted to write a book and become a best-selling novelist for the longest time? If you have then now is the time to think about it. The good thing about becoming an author is that you don’t need to go anywhere and you can work on your own terms. You can come up with ideas and brainstorm characters and situations while simultaneously taking care of your parent. Once you have decided on your theme and the main characters and twists in your story, you can start writing a draft as the initial step. Though it will take you some time, writing a book will give you a chance for an earning.
With the high prevalence of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, it is crucial that you think about the way you’re going to earn a living. Because the maintenance of these diseases requires sufficient funding, you have to look for jobs that you can do from home, pay well and which have considerably flexible hours.
ABOUT Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia