Remote Work: An Underestimated Benefit for Family Caregivers

by | May 19, 2023 | Health

For Aida Beltré, working remotely during the pandemic came as a relief.

She was taking care of her father, now 86, who has been in and out of hospitals and rehabs after a worsening series of strokes in recent years.

Working from home for a rental property company, she could handle it. In fact, like most family caregivers during the early days of covid-19, she had to handle it. Community programs for the elderly had shut down.

Even when Beltré switched to a hybrid work role — meaning some days in the office, others at home — caring for her father was manageable, though never easy.

Then she was ordered back to the office full time in 2022. By then, Medicaid was covering 17 hours of home care a week, up from five. But that was not close to enough. Beltré, now 61, was always rushing, always worrying. There was no way she could leave her father alone so long.

She quit. “I needed to see my dad,” she said.

In theory, the national debate about remote or hybrid work is one great big teachable moment about the demands on the 53 million Americans taking care of an elderly or disabled relative.

But the “return to office” debate has centered on commuting, convenience, and child care. That fourth C, car …

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