COVID-19 restrictions could force 43% of caregivers to give up their jobs
Taking care of kids or a parent while juggling work is taking a toll on many
A new Fidelity Investments study found that ongoing COVID-19 restrictions are taking a toll on folks who are juggling jobs while caring for loved ones such as parents or children, and that 43% of working caregivers could be forced to choose between their jobs and their home responsibilities over the next year.
Almost half of caregivers surveyed said that they could not handle another year like the last, and 42% of those caring for kids responded that they will "fall apart" if schools or their professional child care situation doesn't return to normal in the near future as pandemic restrictions persist.
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"Caregiving has become increasingly complex over the last few years, placing an uneven weight on many women, who all too often shoulder the brunt of family caregiving duties," said Stacey Watson, senior vice president of Life Event Planning at Fidelity Investments. "While close to two-thirds of caregivers say the emotional toll is their heaviest burden, this may be because so many Americans are doing their best to juggle both caregiving and work. For some, handling both may be becoming too much."
The October 2021 American Caregivers Study was a follow-up from the company's earlier caregivers survey released in May. "With so much taking place and evolving these past six months, not the least of which includes the evolving COVID-19 challenges and the huge exodus we are witnessing in the workplace, we wanted to see if the attitudes of caregivers had changed as well," Watson explained.
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Forty-four percent of working caregivers shared an array of challenges they were facing by remaining in the workforce, citing struggles like needing to take more time off, being distracted at work, and feeling unable to pursue a promotion due to the extra load.
Roughly 58% of caregivers reported feeling like they do not have time to address their own mental health along with their responsibilities for caring for their loved ones – and Watson says it could get even worse into the holidays.
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"Although the upcoming holidays can be a time of joy, for caregivers, the season also brings an increased burden," Watson told FOX Business. "On top of care responsibilities, many will find themselves in charge of creating special family moments, making the juggling act more stressful."