What to watch out for:
Stalled career development. Your ability to nurture your own career can be imperiled by your caregiving duties. Difficulty focusing, the constant intrusion of family emergencies, emotional exhaustion, and, if you have cut back on office hours, less work capacity and face time with colleagues can all translate into fewer career advancement opportunitiesand, ultimately, less financial security. "Your confidence and ability to develop your career is much different than someone who isn't a caregiver," says Katana Abbott, founder of DesignatedDaughter.com, a website dealing with caregiving issues for women.
Obviously you want to help your loved one, but there are limits. "If you're putting your own career at risk, remember that the person you're caring for probably doesn't want you to do that," says financial planner Bonnie A. Hughes of the Enrichment Group, a wealth management firm in Miami, Fla.