On Caregiving, the Family Medical
Leave Act, and No Real Safety Net

Apologies to readers for not posting. A quick note here to let you all know that I have several interesting pieces in the hopper.

I have been distracted by caregiving for a close friend. Fortunately, this is not the beginning of a big slide for him and medical care plus self management are likely to fix things for him.

In the meantime, I would like to say this: even dealing with a transient situation like this, I realize that caregiving is tough. My heart goes out to people who do this for family and friends long-term, in the face of chronic, debilitating conditions.

As a self employed writer and blogger, I don’t get paid sick leave or personal days. As a friend and not a family member, the Family Medical Leave Act does not apply. Sick days and personal days are non-existent. Caregiving has economic fall-out. Plus for my friend, who is a self-employed consultant: this is rough. Few vendors make allowances for work accommodations. He has to make the accommodations and economic sacrifices on his own.

I am not bawling on this, but I want to thank some of the folks that are out there in social media, in service, academia, and more, who spend infinite time addressing caregiving long-term. To name a few, @ShelleyWebbRN @judith_graham and @IRememberBetter (for Alzheimer’s). There are many more. I have to run to the hospital now. There are some excellent blogs, books, and other resources on caregiving. Hope to highlight some of them soon.


2 Responses

  1. Mary Durlak January 11, 2012 / 10:47 am

    During Mom’s saga with AD and the nursing home, I was on a list-serv for caregivers caring for people with Parkinson’s disease (Mom’s original diagnosis). That led me to this site: http://www.caregiver.org, which serves home-based caregivers. If you’re not already familiar with it, you might find it interesting. They did a story project a number of years ago, which was horrifying.

    I was self-employed for about 10 years. When Mom got sick, my business fell apart–something that, in hindsight, I’m grateful for. Being forced to go out and get a job was a very lucky thing for me financially.

    • Lorraine Hopping Egan January 11, 2012 / 1:24 pm

      Mary, thank you for this link, as I’m looking for story projects to complement one that I’m working on right now. And Laura, good luck to your friend. I hear you, loudly, on the freelance issue, which has turned even dicier in recent years. I hope you can slip out for a coffee chat while I’m in town.

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