adult daughter arm in arm with her elderly mother. The cover photo for the How to Age in Place blog from AskSAMIE

Supplementing Your Income: Side Gig Strategies for Caregivers

 We love to expand the topics we write on, so enjoy this guest post from Claire Wentz!

Being a senior caregiver is one of the noblest jobs we can do for our aging parents, grandparents, or even friends. That said, it’s a demanding job, and it’s often difficult to balance your caregiving duties with the need to make ends meet. That’s why it’s crucial to find a side job to supplement your income as a senior caregiver. Below, we explore what side gigs to consider and how to make it work.

Why Start a Side Gig?

Starting a side gig while working as a senior caregiver can be a transformative experience, offering a multitude of benefits. First and foremost, it provides a valuable avenue to supplement your income, helping to ease the financial burdens that often come with caregiving responsibilities.

Beyond the financial aspect, a side gig can also serve as a platform for personal and professional growth. It allows you to acquire new skills, stay mentally engaged, and foster a sense of purpose beyond caregiving. The opportunity to develop transferable skills, network with a diverse set of people, and explore new interests can be a refreshing change of pace, offering not only financial stability but also a sense of empowerment and fulfillment that can greatly enhance your overall well-being.

 

What Types of Side Gigs Are Best?

You have a wealth of options when it comes to getting a side gig as a senior caregiver. Freelancing, tutoring, pet care services, and selling products online are among the most popular choices. Freelancing, in particular, offers unmatched flexibility in terms of time, skills, and expertise.

 

Teaching or tutoring can earn you extra income while helping others learn. Pet sitting or housesitting is another flexible option that you can do part-time, and it’s perfect for animal lovers! You might consider starting an online store if you want unlimited potential for growth and income. Here are a few ways to determine what type of side gig to pursue:

 

  • Start with your passions: Think about what you enjoy doing in your free time.
  • Consider your skills: Take an inventory of your talents and expertise to identify opportunities where you can leverage your existing skill set.
  • Research demand: Look for side gig opportunities that are in high demand.
  • Be realistic: Choose a side gig that is feasible and promising, given your other commitments.

 

Consider an Ecommerce Store

Running an online store is perhaps one of the best all-around side gig opportunities for senior caregivers. A wealth of benefits come with starting an ecommerce business, including the flexibility to work from home or anywhere else. You can start by selling small items like handmade crafts and gradually expanding your product range. Moreover, you can work on your online store during your free time, and you won’t need much capital to get things going. You can even start selling on existing platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy.

 

Keep Your Business on a Solid Legal Footing

Regardless of the side gig you choose to pursue, you must keep your business on a solid legal footing. This means ensuring you have all the necessary legal documents like business permits, tax identification numbers, and licenses. You should also register your business name and choose the appropriate business structure. Many entrepreneurs opt for an LLC because of tax flexibility, limited personal liability, and many other reasons.

Manage Business Documents

Stay on top of your side gig by efficiently managing your documents. Use digital tools to keep track of invoices, contracts, and tax paperwork, ensuring everything is organized and easily accessible. Saving documents as PDFs ensures consistent formatting and appearance across different devices and platforms, providing a professional and secure way to share information. You can try this tool if you need to edit, compress, or reorder a PDF.

Create a Marketing Strategy

When you start building up your marketing campaign, it’s not just about coming up with a cool design or logo. You also need to make a brand promise to your customers about the quality of your product and the dependability of your service; consider how you'll start building trust among your customer base. Content marketing can be a cost-effective way to build interest in your brand when starting out.

Starting a side gig while serving as a caregiver offers a multitude of advantages, from supplementing your income to fostering personal and professional growth. It's a path to financial stability and a renewed sense of purpose, allowing you to balance caregiving responsibilities with self-fulfillment. By leveraging your existing skills, exploring new opportunities, managing your business documents, and seeking community support, you can create a flexible and rewarding side gig that complements your caregiving role. Remember, starting small, staying resilient, and adapting as needed are the keys to success.

And for more tips on how to make caregiving easier, sign up for the AskSAMIE Weekly Newsletter to get it straight to your inbox.

 

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Dr. Brandy Archie, OTR/L, CLIPP

Dr. Archie received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University. She is certified in both Living in Place and Low Vision Therapy.  Dr. Archie has over 15 years of experience in home health and elder focused practice settings which led her to start AskSAMIE, a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone, anywhere! Answer some questions about the problems the person is having and then a personalized cart of adaptive equipment and resources is provided.

She's a wife, mother of 3 and a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan! Connect with her on Linked In or by email anytime.

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